Tuesday, June 26, 2012

7,600 people in Washington state will get health care rebate

The federal government and Gov. Chris Gregoire stated that 7,600 individuals in Washington state will be getting health care rebates for an average amount of $185.

The rebates are the result of the new 80/20 Rule, which states that health insurance companies must spend 80 percent of premium dollars from consumers on health care rather than sales, marketing, administration and profit (20 percent).

Nationwide, the rebates amount to $1 billion for more than 12 million people.

"The 80/20 rule helps ensure consumers get fair value for their health care dollar," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement announcing the rebates.

Here are more details from the release by Secretary Sebelius:

Consumers owed a rebate will see their value reflected in one of the following ways:

  • a rebate check in the mail; 
  • a lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that they used to pay the premium if by credit card or debit card; 
  • a reduction in their future premiums; or 
  • their employer providing one of the above, or applying the rebate in a manner that benefits its employees. 
Insurance companies that do not meet the 80/20 standard will send their policyholders a rebate for the difference no later than Aug. 1, 2012. Consumers in every state will also receive a notice from their insurance company informing them of the 80/20 rule, whether their company met the standard, and, if not, how much of difference between what the insurer did or did not spend  on medical care and quality improvement will be returned to them. 

For the first time, all of this information will be publicly posted on HealthCare.gov this summer, allowing consumers to learn what value they are getting for their premium dollars in their health plan. 

For many consumers, the 80/20 rule motivated their plans to lower prices or improve their coverage to meet the standard.  This is one of the ways the 80/20 rule is bringing value to consumers for their health care dollars. 

For a detailed breakdown of these rebates by state and by market, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/reports/mlr-rebates06212012a.html

To read this story in Spanish, click here.