Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gives brief remarks at the beginning of a news conference about Medicare at HHS June 20, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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WASHINGTON - As the result of the 2010 health-insurance reform law, millions of dollars worth of premium rebates will soon be on their way to thousands of Kansans and Missourians.
All consumers should receive a notice from their insurance company this summer, telling them whether they will get a premium rebate.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that 588,000 Missourians and 67,500 Kansans will get a total of nearly $65 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer because of the 80/20 rule that is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The rebates will average $173 for 351,000 Missouri families and $91 for 45,300 Kansas families.
The health-care law generally requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of consumers' premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement. Insurers can spend the remaining 20 percent on administrative costs, such as salaries, sales and advertising. Beginning this year, insurers must notify customers how much of their premiums have been spent on medical care and quality improvement.
"The 80/20 rule helps ensure consumers get fair value for their health-care dollar," Sebelius said.
Not every insurance customer in Missouri and Kansas will get a rebate, but everyone should receive a notice about the program. Insurance companies that do not meet the 80/20 standard are required to provide their customers a rebate for the difference no later than Aug. 1. Even companies that meet the 80/20 threshold must inform customers that they’ve met the standard and thus won’t be making rebates.
Customers who are owed a rebate will receive it in one of the following ways:
- A rebate check in the mail;
- A lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that is used to pay the premium, if by credit card or debit card;
- A reduction in future premiums; or
- Their employer providing one of the above, or applying the rebate so that it benefits employees.
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