Health insurers will be handing some $1.3 billion back to consumers and employers this summer as a key provision of ObamaCare comes into force. The health care law requires insurers to spend at least 80% of premiums on health care and quality improvements, or provide refunds. A study from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 16 million Americans will be receiving rebates of up to $150, reports Reuters.
The report estimates that $426 million will go to people who bought their own health plans, while $541 million will go to big employers, and $377 million to small businesses. The report's authors believe the law's rebate provision prevented some insurers from hiking premiums, although millions of consumers saw premiums rise steeply last year, and the health insurance industry complains that the law doesn't address the real drivers of health care costs. The rebates are due by the first of August, although health insurers won't have to pay up if the Supreme Court strikes the law down before then. (Read more health care reform stories.)