NEW YORK, April 6 (UPI) -- A non-profit group estimates if the Affordable Care Act provisions had been effect in 2010, U.S. consumers would have received $2 billion in rebates.
Sara Collins, vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation supporting independent research on health policy, said the medical-loss ratio rules that went into effect in 2011 were designed to control private insurance administrative costs for consumers and government.
The rules require a minimum percentage of premium dollars to be spent on medical care and healthcare quality improvement -- not administrative costs and corporate profits. Insurers must meet a minimum medical loss ratio of 80 percent in the individual and small-group markets, and 85 percent in the large group market -- and issue rebates if they do not, Collins said.
The estimates offer a prediction of what consumers may expect to see in August, when insurers are required to issue rebates to 2011 policy holders if the insurers do not meet the new thresholds.
"Consumers can expect to see some relief from high premium costs beginning this year, either in the form of rebates or a reduction in their premiums as insurers lower rates to meet the medical loss ratio minimums," Collins said in a statement. "Cutting down on administrative and other non-medical costs will lower premiums and help make health insurance more affordable for all."