Schakowsky calls for more insurance oversight

April 12, 2010 4:28:20 PM PDT
Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) said Monday that consumers need more protection from big increases in health insurance premiums.

The new health care reform law gives the secretary of health and human services the ability to expose unreasonable rate hikes, but insurance companies would not face any penalty until 2014.

Schakowsky is proposing legislation that would give the secretary the immediate authority to block or modify unreasonable increases.

"Comprehensive reform provides the foundation to review rates, but this legislation would strengthen it so we can better protect consumers from unreasonable rate increases starting right now," said Schakowsky, who represents parts of Chicago and the north suburbs.

Schakowsky says Illinois residents are facing double-digit premium increases this year - some as high as 60 percent.