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New Poll Shows Virginians Want More Health Insurance Transparency From the State As Rates Continue to Rise

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The following press release, from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, discusses results from a recent Virginia poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. For the results on Virginia gubernatorial candidates name IDs and favorable/unfavorable ratings, see here.

Results from a recent statewide poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy show a majority of Virginians want state government to provide more consumer-focused transparency regarding how health insurance companies operate in the Commonwealth, and they support changes to existing state law to limit insurers’ ability to unilaterally change contracts with health care providers. Among the poll findings:

  • 58 percent of Virginians say they are unaware of the existence of the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance, which has regulatory authority over insurance companies;
  • 59 percent of Virginians think the Bureau of Insurance does not do enough to provide consumers with information about contesting adverse health insurance coverage decisions such as claim denials;
  • 92 percent support the concept of the state providing easy to access, public-facing information to provide more transparency about insurance industry profits, medical expenditures, administrative costs, and other metrics (states such as California offer this information to the public); and
  • 81 percent support changing a state law known as the Ethics and Fairness in Carrier Business Practices Act to prohibit health insurance plans from unilaterally changing contracts with doctors and hospitals, a practice that is currently allowed under the law.

The arrival of the Mason-Dixon poll coincides with the recent release of a statewide analysis of health care sector spending in the Commonwealth conducted by the Altarum Institute showing that while health care expenditures in Virginia are below the national average, insurance costs continue to rise. The report notes that since 2008 “per enrollee private insurance personal health care spending has increased by 42.7 percent, while single annual premiums have increased 61.3 percent, and family premiums have increased 66.4 percent. Deductibles and other cost sharing have also increased over this period.”

A full release is attached to this message and can be viewed online here.

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