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Federal Agency Denies Okla. Request on Premiums (Jan 04, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A federal agency is denying Oklahoma's request for additional time to meet federal standards related to how much health insurance companies spend on medical costs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday notified Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak that the state's request had been denied.

A provision in the new federal health care law requires insurers in the individual market to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on health care.

Doak had sought an adjustment to the so-called "medical loss ratio" standard, allowing companies to gradually meet the ratio over the next few years.

Doak claimed the new 80 percent threshold could threaten smaller carriers and "disrupt the individual health insurance market in Oklahoma." But HHS says they saw no evidence of that.



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