Feds beef up state oversight of health insurance

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WASHINGTON - Health insurance premium hikes will get a harder look in most parts of the country, thanks to an infusion of federal cash for state regulators.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday announced $46 million in federal grants to help states strengthen their oversight of health insurance rate hikes. It's the first installment of $250 million for state regulators in the new health care law.

Forty-five states and Washington, D.C., will get money for a range of projects, including drafting stronger laws, putting proposed rate hikes through close scrutiny, and upgrading their data systems.

Five states did not apply for money - Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wyoming - but may do so later.

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