Iowa, North Dakota want MLR waivers too

Iowa and North Dakota have become the latest states asking the Obama administration for relief from the medical-loss ratio requirement, according to The Hill’s Healthwatch. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss requested HHS allow the state a gradual MLR phase-in, with 60 percent, 70 percent and 75 percent in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. "The Iowa market has one dominant carrier which already meets the 80 percent loss ratio, but Iowa has a number of smaller carriers which need time to adjust their business models to comply with the [MLR]," said Voss. Similarly, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm said its insurance market would be "destabilized" if insurers don't have time to adjust to the new regulation. He also wants a gradual phase-in of 65 percent in 2011, 70 percent in 2012, 75 percent in 2013 and 80 percent in 2014. "Given that several of the companies selling individual policies in the state are relatively small and new to our market, the need for sufficient adjustment time is even more critical," Hamm wrote to HHS. --Read the articles on Iowa and North Dakota