On Tuesday the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) released partial data in a press release purporting to show large rate increases in the new health insurance marketplace (or exchange) created by the Affordable Care Act. The press release provided percentage increases for selected cities and age groups, but did not provide the actual premium rates.
Today, Citizen Action of Wisconsin filed an open records request requesting the actual rates used to generate these percentages increases, and information on the quality of the insurance plans that were compared.
According to WGBA NBC 26, OCI spokesperson J.P. Wieske said at a town hall meeting in Green Bay Thursday (in response to Citizen Action of Wisconsin criticism) that the “numbers are the numbers, they are what they are.” Unfortunately, OCI has chosen to withhold the actual numbers from the public.
“We know OCI has the information we are requesting because it is not possible to calculate percentage rate changes except by using actual rates in effect now and the rates filed by insurers participating in the new competitive marketplace,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It would have been much more helpful to Wisconsin health care consumers if OCI had simply released the actual rates in the first place, rather than trying to spin partial data to fit their ideological agenda.”
Citizen Action’s analysis of the data OCI did release on Tuesday is available here.