7 On Your Side

Health insurance rebates in the mail

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A lot of people believe health care reform -- referred to by some as "Obama Care" -- will be too costly. But one overlooked provision of the health insurance overhaul could put money in your pocket.

Part of the 2010 law says that health insurance companies must spend the vast majority of the money you pay in premiums on actual health care. If they spend less than a given amount, they have to give you your money back.

Health care is expensive and one way the Affordable Care Act hope to keep costs down is to require that health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of the money they take in on direct medical care and efforts to improve the quality of care. Meanwhile insurers selling to large groups must spend 85 percent. If they spend less than that, Carrie McLean with eHealthInsurance.com says they must rebate consumers, "We are talking about a lot of money. 13 million Americans are gonna be receiving notifications about these rebates. And $1.1 billion will be sent back to these Americans."

McClean says insurance companies have until Wednesday to mail you a letter that explains the rule and how they did, "You don't have to do anything. That's the good thing here. Basically you hate to wait for that notification. All of all these notifications are due August 1st."

Some companies may think they have found a way around the law. But McClean notes that there isn't one, "The key is if you don't hear something then I would definitely be contacting your insurance provider or your employer to find out did they receive something and what are they going to be doing with those funds."

And here's why -- even if you don't have a rebate coming, the insurance company must make contact and inform you of that too. For most of us, we are only talking about a few dollars. But, that's still money that many would rather have for themselves, than give away to an insurance company.

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Tags:
health care, health insurance, barack obama, 7 on your side, michael finney
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