Could rate hikes backfire on health insurers?


A new study by Kaiser Family Foundation is providing some evidence to back up horror stories about rising health care insurance costs, revealing insurance companies have tried to raise individual plan costs by 20% in the past year. The publicity, combined with fear of actions by state and federal officials, puts even more pressure on insurers and could help ease the increases.

That pressure to hold down rates is already strong. President Obama met with health insurers on Tuesday to talk about rates and changes as the administration moves forward with implementing the health care overhaul.

"Some insurance companies tried to raise rates even before we passed the law though some of them were making record profits," the president said in announcing the Patient's Bill of Rights to take effect in September.