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More than 200,000 South Carolina residents could see health insurance premium refunds in the coming weeks because of a regulation in the Affordable Care Act designed to rein in rising health care costs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the law, also known as Obamacare, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of premiums on patient care and quality improvement. Those that don't must issue refunds to their subscribers.

Known as the 80/20 rule, the regulation was meant to slow premium costs by controlling excessive profits.

"The 80/20 rule is bringing transparency and competition to the insurance market, ensuring that consumers are continuing to receive value for their premium dollar," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

Refunds to the state total more than $13 million, according to HHS, and the average refund expected to go to South Carolina consumers is $92 per family.

Nationally, the refunds total $300 million, with 6.8 million consumers set to receive an average of $80 per family, HHS reports.

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