Health insurance rebates expected to be worth $1.1B, administration says

The Obama administration said Thursday that insurers will hand out $1.1 billion in rebates to consumers this summer as part of the health overhaul.

With the Supreme Court expected to decide the fate of the law by next week, administration officials are highlighting that they are pressing ahead implementing the law, in part to signal confidence it will be upheld. They have refused to predict what would happen to provisions such as the checks if the court strikes down the law.

About 12.8 million people are likely to get refunds as part of a provision in the law requiring companies to spend a set proportion of the money they get from insurance premiums on health care or refund the difference to consumers. The average rebate will be around $151 per household, the administration said.

Insurers had to tell the administration this month how much they would be sending to consumers. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation had previously estimated the total value of the rebates would be $1.3 billion.

People who purchase insurance on the individual market may get their rebates in the form of checks or discounts against future premiums. The checks have to go out by Aug. 1. Rebates for group plans are expected to go to the employers, and a share is supposed to be passed through to employees.

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