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Health insurers may have harder time raising rates

It could soon get harder for Wisconsin health insurers to jack up the rates of individual policyholders for getting sick.

State Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg has been working on measures which are now pending in the new state budget as well as in individual bills.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, officials are going after insurers that create closed blocks of policies which eventually get dominated by sicker people as healthy customers go into their own lower-priced plans.

The paper says it's how those who get sick eventually see their insurance rates go up.

Karen Pollitz of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute says the pricing is allowed to continue because it's "amazingly invisible."

The Wisconsin Preferred Provider Organization opposes the change.

Director Dan Schwartzer said the group does not oppose the elimination of closed blocks of higher-priced policies but he says there are better ways to fix the system.