President Obama met with CEOs of more than 12 major insurance companies Tuesday. In a brief speech after the meeting he pointed out that even though there are genuine cost drivers not caused by insurance companies the companies need to make sure the new health care law isn't used as an excuse to raise costs. As of next year the Health and Human Services Secretary will work with states to perform annual reviews of rate increases according to specific criteria. Those companies with higher prices that are deemed unreasonable will have to explain the reasons for those prices on their Web sites. States will have the ability to keep those high-priced insurers from selling their plans on the exchanges.
Obama's speech marked the first 90 days since the health care legislation was signed into law. Obama touted certain consumer protections in the law that take effect in the coming year. As of Sept. 23 no plan can revoke coverage of sick members who made unintentional mistakes on their applications or set lifetime limits on coverage. Similarly most plans can't exclude children with preexisting conditions and the ability of most health plans to impose annual dollar limits on benefits will be phased out. The most broad and controversial elements of the law won't take effect until 2014.