|Health care reform rules aimed at pressuring health insurance companies to become more efficient saved consumers nearly $1.5 billion last year, according to a study released by the Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday.
The health care law enacted by President Barack Obama requires that health insurance companies selling plans to individual consumers spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on medical care. Health insurance companies selling plans to groups of at least 50 people, such as employers offering benefits to workers, must spend 85 percent of premiums on medical care. Companies that fail to meet these standards under the so-called medical loss ratio rule must refund the difference to their customers.
Health insurance companies responded to this requirement by cutting overhead, delivering rebates and, in some cases, reducing profits, according to the study...