Midweek Update

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners at its summer meeting held in Seattle approved the “blanks” that insurers will use to report financial information that state regulators will use to decide whether the insurer is complying with the Affordable Care Act’s new minimum loss ratio requirement.  This is just one of the pieces of this particular Affordable Care Act puzzle. AHIP expressed concerns about the substance of the blanks, but not the process. This provision’s impact on the FEHBP remains foggy.

The National Business Group on Health (“NBGH”) released a report on the results of a survey of 72 large employers which projected their 2011 health care plan costs. Business Insurance reports that the survey finds that employers expect that their costs will increase 8.9% next year compared to 7% this year. The large employers are opting to waive grandfathered plan status under the Affordable Care Act in order to have more flexibility in making benefit changes. According to the Business Insurance report

The NBGH survey of 72 member employers found that 70% will have to amend their plans to eliminate lifetime limits, 26% will have to remove annual dollar limits and 13% will have to remove pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19 to comply with the law.
NBGH President Helen Darling estimates that one percentage point of that 8.9% increase projected for 2011 is due to changes required by the law. Cost increases also are being fueled by unabated rate hikes by medical providers, Ms. Darling said.