TN Insurance Commissioner Defends Health-Coverage Premium Rate Review Process

Press Release from the Office of Tennessee Department of Insurance and Commerce Commissioner Julie McPeak, July 2, 2015:

TDCI Statement on President Obama’s Comments About Rate Review

NASHVILLE – Today the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) released the following statement following President Obama’s July 1 visit to Nashville and his comments about the process of insurance rate review:

“TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak and our seasoned team of insurance regulators are not passively reviewing insurance rates for the coming year as the President suggested. The Commissioner and our team have always taken the job of protecting Tennessee consumers seriously and are unafraid to ask hard questions of the companies we regulate in order to better protect consumers. Commissioner McPeak’s recent testimony* to a subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee offers proof of our oversight as well as a snapshot of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Tennesseans and insurers.

“All rate filings are assigned to our consulting actuary for review. The actuary reviews the filings in accordance with statutes, regulations and accepted actuarial guidelines for completeness and actuarial justification. The actuary then makes a recommendation as to the appropriateness of the filing; TDCI makes the final decision about whether or not to accept the rate increase request, offer a reduced amount or deny the request.

“Typically, the actuary has questions, seeks clarifications or requests additional information in order to make their recommendation during the process. It is not unusual for several letters to be exchanged on a filing.

“The Department’s deadline for final approval is August 25. Consumers who have questions or want more information can visit our website for more information. We are happy to field any questions or comments consumers may have.”

*A copy of McPeak’s written testimony is attached with this release.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.