N.H. can prevent skyrocketing insurance rates
To the editor:I don’t think the New Hampshire Department of Insurance is doing its job in trying to control the health insurance rates in New Hampshire (“Businesses in the dark on rate process,” April 23-May 6 NHBR.) This is the current statute (415:1.) on the books that the commissioner could use to disapprove any health insurance rate filing, notice that it was effective in 1947:“No policy of insurance against loss or expense from the sickness, or from the bodily injury or death by accident of the insured shall be issued or delivered to any person in this state nor shall any application, rider or endorsement be used in connection therewith until a copy of the form thereof and of the classification of risks and the premium rates, or, in the case of cooperatives or assessment companies the estimated cost pertaining thereto have been filed with the insurance commissioner nor until the expiration of 30 days thereafter unless the commissioner shall sooner give his written approval thereof.”Commissioner Sevigny is trying to dodge a bullet. The rate increase that your article talks about was an overall 30 percent. How can that be necessary in this economic climate, where was the department’s common sense?So instead of doing his job and controlling rate increases, he wants a bill to be passed to make rate filings public information. That’s all well and good, but why didn’t he stop the 40 percent rate increase that Kelly Magowan received? He could have. The New Hampshire Department of Insurance is not doing their job and keeping the rates reasonable. They have all the prior approval power they need to stop increases with the statute. It would be nice to have the public know about the filings that are increasing in advance, but would that get Sevigny to do his job?Sevigny spent a lot of time at the national level. He was president of the NAIC, but somehow he does not know how to help the people and businesses in his state from rate abuse by health insurance companies?Lou Penn Pepperell, Mass.