Feds: Proposed insurance rate hikes 'unreasonable'

Jan 12, 2012

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says proposed increases in health insurance premiums for customers in in Wyoming and four other states have been deemed "unreasonable" by the agency.

Federal officials said in a statement Thursday they've determined that Trustmark Life Insurance Co. proposed unreasonable rate increases in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Sebelius said that under the 2010 health care law, insurance firms are required to disclose rate increases over 10 percent and justify them. Sebelius called for the Lake Forest, Ill.-based firm to immediately rescind the rates or explain why they would not.

Company spokeswoman Cindy Gallaher said Thursday that the company is in compliance with federal law. She said the company "respectfully" disagrees with the federal department.