CQ HealthBeat: Age Rating Could Affect Affordability

An article in CQ HealthBeat looks at some of the health insurance market regulations expected to be issued as soon as tomorrow by HHS.

AHIP spokesperson Robert Zirkelbach was quoted in the article, talking about the new age rating restrictions and how they could affect affordability.

“One rule that might emerge Tuesday and that deeply worries insurers is what’s known as age rating. In 42 states, insurers are allowed a five-to-one age band, which means older people will pay no more than five times as much as younger people, says the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans. The health care law reduces that to a three-to-one age band, which means younger people will pay more, says AHIP.”
“The group has advocated that the law be changed back to five-to-one, which would require congressional action. But Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for AHIP, said that how the rule on age rating is structured could make a difference — such as whether there is some kind of phase-in period for it. The other alternative suggested by consumer advocates is for states to move quickly on this particular rule and adopt it by the end of 2012, giving insurers plenty of time to set their rates and submit them to regulators for approval.”

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