Weekend Update

Congress is now out of session until mid-September. (The Senate returned briefly last week to pass a border security measure.)

The public comment deadline passed last week on the interim final rule implementing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover children up to age 26. Very few of the comments currently are posted on the regulations.gov website. The next Affordable Care Act implementing rule comment deadlines are for the grandfather plan rule (August 16) and the patient protection rules (August 27).

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is holding its summer meeting this coming week in Seattle. Business Insurance reports today that President Obama changed his schedule and will not be speaking about Affordable Care Act implementation at that meeting.

The NAIC will be discussing Affordable Care implementation at the meeting, in particular, its  recommendations to HHS on the minimum medical loss ratio (“MLR”) now under development. Congressional leaders sent HHS Secretary Sibelius their post-enactment views on the taxes which may be excluded from the calculation.  The Congress leaders want the ratio’s denominator to include federal and state taxes that health insurers currently pay. Modern Healthcare.com reports that the NAIC group looking at the issue reached the opposite conclusion (which in my view is consistent with the express language of the law, new Public Health Service Act Section 2718).