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Are Insurers Influencing Health Reform’s Rules Behind Closed Doors (iwatch news)

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As the face-off over health care reform becomes increasingly heated, some are arguing that insurers have a sizeable advantage over consumer advocates: proximity to the White House. Earlier this week, Politico revealed that Aetna, the nation’s third largest insurer, was granted a private meeting with top administration officials on November 16th. On the agenda, most likely, was the MLR mandate, particularly as it pertains to mini-med plans. Aetna is one of the top sellers of these plans, which offer limited benefits and are often capped at just a few thousand dollars per year. This type of limited coverage will no longer be tenable if the President’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014 — and even next year, insurers could stand to pay millions of dollars in rebates to consumers, if they’re not meeting the law’s requirement that insurers spend 80 percent of profits on consumer care.