Officials with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have told CQ HealthBeat that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services likely will see by mid-August the NAIC's final recommendations for what services should count toward health insurers' medical costs under the health reform-mandated medical-loss ratios, reports California Healthline. The news comes amid a swirl of activity.
First, the trade association America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), as well as individual health insurers, are chiming in with last-minute ratio suggestions to limit market disruptions even as two U.S. senators and a consumer group call for tight definitions to reduce the possibility than insurers can abuse the system. Senator John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) sent a letter to the NAIC because he was worried that insurers will have too strong an influence on the NAIC's decision, reports the New York Times. Similarly, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) joined with the group Health Care for America Now to call for strict definitions, reports The Hill.
Second, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, joined 128 Democrat co-sponsors to introduce legislation to create a public health insurance option in the health insurance exchanges, reports USA Today. A public health plan could reduce the federal deficit by $53 billion by 2019, estimates the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
To learn more:
- read this California Healthline article
- read this New York Times article
- read this article at The Hill
- read the AHIP medical-loss ratio report
- read Sen. Rockefeller's letter
- read this Washington Post article
-read this USA Today article
- read the CBO analysis
- read Congressman Stark's press release