House and Senate leaders said today they will act on legislation to hold insurance companies accountable and provide more transparency for consumers on health insurance plans and premiums.  The measure comes as Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield announced an 18% insurance rate hike for customers that impacts over 80,000 Iowans.

“Middle class families can’t afford these outrageous insurance premium increases.  At a minimum, Iowans deserve to know exactly what factors led to this 18% rate increase.  Our plan will bring more accountability to insurance companies by ensuring consumers have access to information on health insurance plans, premium rate increases, and health care cost information,” said State Representative Janet Petersen of Des Moines, who chairs the House Commerce Committee.

The insurance company accountability plan outlined by leaders today will be added to Senate File 2201 in the House Commerce Committee.  Enacted by the Iowa Insurance Commissioner, a new consumer guide on health insurance will be created for Iowans with health insurance or looking to purchase insurance.

The accountability plan also calls for a detailed report from the Iowa Insurance Commissioner on health spending costs for insurance plans.  The information must include rate increase data, health care expenditures, ranking factors that raise or lower costs in each insurance plan, and other data.

If you would like to watch the press conference with Rep. Peterson click here.