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Posted: August 8, 2011 12:20 p.m.

Ga. firms must explain insurance hikes

ATLANTA - Georgia insurance firms will soon have to provide more detailed justifications to consumers if they plan to hike premiums by 10 percent or more.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has warned insurance companies of the change, which will take effect next month as part of the national health care overhaul.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/pRkED2) that the requirement applies to individual and small group plans. Authorities say it will force Georgia insurers to fully explain why they are charging more if they raise premiums significantly

Georgia State University professor William Custer said the regulation will allow consumers to have more information about what is going on with their own premiums.

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