Revealing Health Insurance Industry Secrets – Last year, VPIRG led the effort to require health insurers to disclose financial data and new information on the number and type of health claims they deny (click here to see what we found!). Thanks to the passage of another VPIRG-backed bill this year, Vermonters will soon be able to access the same data from Medicaid as well as private insurers. Enabling consumers to make side-by-side comparisons of health insurance plans (and the insurer’s track-record) is a huge step toward a more transparent health care system.
Rate Review – Vermont already has one of the strongest rate review processes in the country, and this year we worked with lawmakers to make it even better. Thanks to legislation passed this year, consumers will be able to sign up to receive notifications when their insurer is planning to increase premiums—so they have a chance to comment before any proposed increase goes into effect. This law also gives consumer protection advocates (like VPIRG) the means to help the state stop unjustified rate hikes. In Oregon, a similar law has saved consumers over $80 million dollars since 2010, and we expect to see significant savings here in Vermont too.