Feds: Proposed insurance rate hikes in Arizona, other states 'unreasonable'

Posted: Updated:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says proposed increases in health insurance premiums for customers in five 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 five states -- Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Officials say they made the determinations by using the "rate review" authority from the Affordable Care Act to gauge whether the premium increases are reasonable. 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 not. A company representative was reviewing the statement Thursday afternoon.