health insurance

Rhode Islanders’ health insurance rates will be rising again in 2013. One reason is an unexpected dip in actual medical costs.

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner recently approved rate increases for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tufts. For Blue Cross, those increases will be an average of about 3.7% for small group plans and 7.9% for large groups. The state’s biggest insurer had initially applied for a much lower increase. But Blue Cross vice president of legal services Monica Neronha says that was based on what they paid out for members in 2011.

Lawmakers at RI State House
Catherine Welch

The House Republican leader is renewing an effort requiring state lawmakers to pay for one-fifth of the cost of their state-provided health insurance. Brian Newberry calls the issue a matter of fairness.

This week, our neighbors in Connecticut began hearings about mental health care in the state after the Newtown shooting. Lawmakers and a couple of task forces convened by Gov. Dannel Malloy are reviewing the state's mental health services and looking at the kinds of public policy and legal fixes that might make it better. Should we mandate outpatient treatments for the mentally ill? Can we truly assess someone's risk before it's too late? Should gun buyers face a mandatory mental health evaluation?

Rhode Island has selected Deloitte Consulting to build its online health insurance exchange. It’s the next step in the state’s effort to get the exchange up and running by October.

State Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller plans to camp somewhere in the vicinity of the US Supreme Court when the court is expected to issue its highly anticipated decision Thursday morning on the Affordable Care Act.