Legislation is now sitting on Gov. Martinez’s desk that would, at least in theory, bring greater transparency to health insurance pricingas explained by this article in the Albuquerque Journal. The long and short of the bill is to set up new requirements if a company wishes to raise rates.
It is designed to achieve “mom and apple pie” status. Who could oppose transparency that makes it more difficult to raise rates? As we’ve discussed in this space before, however, transparency is nice, but what we need are pro-market health care reforms, not more meddling in how rates are adjusted.
We have a competitive market that “regulates” the price of car insurance and life insurance — not to mention the prices of computers, food, and nearly every other object we purchase in our daily lives (without an elaborate and costly review process). Unfortunately, the Legislature did nothing this session to peel back New Mexico’s 57 mandates or actually make the provision of health care any cheaper. Until we have policies in place that encourage a competitive market, no amount of reviews or transparency will make health insurance — or health care — more affordable.