For Immediate Release: August 17, 2010
Contacts: Kristin Milam or Kerry Hall: 919-733-5238
N.C. Department of Insurance Receives $1 million Healthcare Reform Grant
The federal grant provides funding to improve health insurance premium review processes
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that the N.C. Department of Insurance has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to help the agency implement requirements under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, specifically for making improvements to the current health insurance premium review process.
"A little over a month ago, our staff submitted the premium review assistance grant to the federal government. I am pleased that North Carolina was approved for this funding," said Commissioner Goodwin. "The Department of Insurance has a lot of work ahead of us to implement the new federal health care reform initiatives. We will use this federal funding to review our existing procedures, hire new staff and improve consumer outreach specific to approving rate changes to health insurance plans."
The Department's grant application identified the following measures to improve the rate review process in North Carolina:
- Seek outside review of actuarial processes to determine areas of improvement in the process.
- Seek additional authority to expand prior rate approval to small and large employer group health and association group health plans via the N.C. General Assembly.
- Hire additional staff to accommodate increased rate filings and their review.
- Increase transparency and accessibility:
- Improve the access and readability of rate filings that are currently posted on the Department's website.
- Seek authority via the N.C. General Assembly to require insurers to create consumer-friendly summaries and increased public information for rate filings.
- Seek input and consider planning for public comment and public hearings on rate requests.
A copy of the grant application is available on the Department's website, www.ncdoi.com/healthcarereform.
Consumers with questions about the PPACA legislation may call the Department's consumer helpline, 1-800-546-5664, or visit www.ncdoi.com/healthcarereform.