Usage of SERFF, (System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing), a system that states in partnership with the industry have developed to automate the rate and form filing process, has been under budget by 16,000 transactions through June due to the effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as well as the economy, according to NAIC notes.
SERFF reported 558,689 total filings in 2011, down from 565,475 in 2010. Since 2008, there have been at least half a million filings per year. Filings have crested more than 100-fold since the program was launched in 2001.
The new numbers reflect filings earlier this year, despite licensing 88 companies in 2012. More than 3,500 unique companies are currently licensed.
SERFF Board member and New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger A. Sevigny indicated that health companies are holding filings in anticipation of health care reform, according to the NAIC Executive Committee minutes taken during the NAIC Meeting in Atlanta earlier this month.
SERFF also held a Health Insurance Exchange Plan Management Forum Aug. 9 with attendance by approximately 250 state regulators, industry, and staff from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). Forty-seven jurisdictions were represented.
One participant said regulatory agencies and insurance providers have only one point of consensus about SERFF and the exchanges: “We are all scared spit-less.” as National Underwriter reported from Atlanta.
SERFF cannot work on creating a federal-state database until the Department of Health and Human Services publishes final rules. The major medical health rate filings will be public, unlike other SERFF filings, under the national health reform law.
SERFF will only help facilitate sharing of information and will not dictate what kinds of information states and the federal government transmit.
In addition, several companies have indicated that they are not developing new products due to the “sluggish economy,” the New Hampshire commissioner said.