HHS: Healthcare law saved consumers $1.2B in 2012 | MassDevice.com On Call

September 13, 2013 by Brad Perriello

The U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. says the Affordable Care Act saved consumers $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums last year.

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MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The healthcare reform law kept about $1.2 billion in health insurance premiums in the pockets of American consumers last year, according to the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept.

The Affordable Care Act's "rate review" provision kept premiums lower for some 6.8 million consumers, according to the HHS report. Rate review mandates that insurers justify any rate increase of 10% or more.

"Thanks to the health care law, we are seeing that holding insurance companies accountable is leading to increased competition and saving billions of dollars for consumers across the country," HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in prepared remarks. "This type of competition and transparency will continue in the health insurance marketplace, or exchanges, where Americans will be able to shop for and compare plans side-by-side to find the one that fits their needs and budget."

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Another ACA provision, the so-called "80/20 rule" requiring insurers to spend at least 80% of premiums on healthcare, prompted rebates worth $500 million to nearly 8.5 million Americans, according to the health department.

"Thanks to the 80/20 rule, last year 77.8 million consumers saved an estimated $3.4 billion up front on their premiums as insurance companies operated more efficiently," according to HHS.