Nebraska families and businesses will receive $4.8 million in health insurance rebates resulting from a consumer protection provision of the health care reform law, Sen. Ben Nelson reported Friday.
The rebate checks and reimbursements result from health insurance companies "allocating excessive amounts of funds toward salaries, advertising and operations rather than direct medical care," Nelson said.
The health care law mandates that in individual and small group health insurance markets, at least 80 percent of premium dollars must go into health care benefits and efforts to improve care, he said.
The rebates will affect tens of thousands of Nebraskans, Nelson said.
"These rebates aren't pennies from heaven," he said. "Insurers owe us this money. The 80/20 rule behind these rebates is a basic consumer protection that will provide much-needed transparency and accountability to insurers."
And that means Nebraska customers will "get more value from their premium dollars as well as better results," Nelson said.
The rebates will go to 46,444 Nebraskans and average $215 per family, he said.
This, Nelson said, is "one of the hidden benefits of the health reform law that people are now seeing as new features of the law go into effect."
Reach Don Walton at 402-473-7248 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.