Don't Miss Another Opportunity to do Something Good for Montana

When it comes to health insurance, the promise of saving money can sound like yet another empty sales pitch. But there’s nothing for sale here - all we need is transparency and accountability.
In Montana, our state auditor has no ability to make insurers justify a rate increase. Montana is one of only a small handful of states without someone to defend consumers from unreasonable rate hikes.

Health insurers here can raise our rates for whatever reason they want, or no reason at all. One stark example involves an insurer who hiked rates on Montana consumers by 18% last year. That same insurer tried the same rate hike in South Dakota, but the increase was knocked back to 8%. The authority to question the higher rate saved South Dakotans 10% on their health insurance. They didn’t even need to make a phone call.

While a competitive marketplace helps keep prices down in most industries, only two health insurers control over 80% of the market in Montana. If you aren’t happy with your insurer, you might not have any better options. You can’t just walk away.

Reviewing rates keeps insurers honest. Last year, rate reviews saved hardworking Americans more than $1 billion. It doesn’t mean rates can’t go up, but it’s at least a measure of protection.

Our legislature can stand with consumers when they return to Helena in January by passing a law that gives Montana officials clear authority to keep insurers’ rate increases in check.

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