HARRISBURG, Pa., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that the Insurance Department is investigating Pennsylvania's nine largest health insurance companies to determine the reasons behind a pattern of controversial rate increases, and especially the extent to which those increases are driven by the use of questionable health profiling tools.  "Federal health reform brings many opportunities for health insurance companies, starting with 32 million new customers," Governor Rendell said. "So I am disappointed to see these companies hiking premiums for those most in need of health care, especially when they know that all discrimination against sick people will be prohibited in 2014 under the federal reform law."  Earlier this week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new grant program to help states strengthen oversight of insurance premiums and rate hikes. The grants, worth $1 million, will be awarded to states that demonstrate how the grant funds will be used to develop or enhance their processes of reviewing and approving, disapproving or modifying health insurance premium requests. Pennsylvania will apply for a grant by the July 7 deadline.

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Posted 12:32 PM

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