Deadline set for insurers filing risk management program policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a Feb. 13 deadline for insurers to disclose how many people they cover through individual and small-group policies. Insurers can file their form submissions to CMS beginning Feb.9.

CMS plans to implement an adjustment to the risk corridors program to help mitigate unexpected losses during the 2014 benefit year. In order to do so, CMS will analyze enrollment data to estimate the state-specific effect on average claims costs, according to the announcement.

When submitting the form, an insurer that operates in multiple states can bundle its information for separate states in the same report. "On average, health insurance companies and health insurance issuers operate in 6 states. Therefore, we expect health insurance companies representing a total of 2,400 issuers to submit 400 transitional adjustment reporting form filings," noted the announcement.

This deadline has been controversial. Originally, CMS said the filings would be due around Jan. 23, according to LifeHealthPRO. UnitedHealth Group had asked CMS to push the deadline back to April 30, 2015, while Blue Cross Blue Shield wanted answers on how CMS would adjust the risk corridor levels beginning in January.

"This new deadline will allow CMS time to calculate the adjustment amounts, with the goal of publishing these amounts as soon as possible," as stated in the response.

Not only has the deadline been controversial; the program itself has been as well. Republican lawmakers and other conservatives have pushed back against the risk corridor program, believing it's tantamount to a government bailout of insurance companies, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more:
- here's the CMS announcement (.pdf)
- read the LifeHealthPRO article