WASHINGTON BUREAU — State insurance regulators say they are hurrying to set uniform medical loss ratio rules but cannot meet federal regulators’ original June 1 deadline.
Jane Cline, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and West Virginia insurance commissioner, and Therese Vaughan, the NAIC’s chief executive officer, have notified U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the delay in a letter.
The new Affordable Care Act, the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, will impose minimum medical loss ratio requirements on U.S. insurers starting Dec. 31, 2010.
The ACA medical loss ratio provision requires the NAIC to establish uniform MLR definitions and standardized methodologies for calculating medical loss ratios. HHS officials then must certify the rules.
Officials at the U.S. Department of Health Human Services want to have rules in place early, so that insurers can start implementing the rules in 2011. Sebelius, a former Kansas insurance commissioner and a former NAIC president, asked the NAIC to complete the MLR work by June 1, to speed up the implementation process.
To ensure that all views are considered, and that all parties have time to review the proposals under consideration, the NAIC is “using a very transparent, but time consuming, process” to craft the rules, Cline and Vaughan write in their letter to Sebelius.