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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Exchange delays drive up SERFF costs

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How much are PPACA implementation delays running up IT costs?

A nonprofit that helps carriers file documents with state regulators has given Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange watchers a clue.

The organization, the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing, says delays in getting complete specifications from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight have forced it to push the expected completion date for its exchange plan support project to June 30, 2014, from July 31, 2013.

SERFF predicts the CCIIO delays and related costs will increase the amount of hours needed to complete the project 27 percent.

SERFF is hoping to hold the increase in the cost of the exchange plan project to 8.2 percent. If they can meet that goal, the cost of the completed project might be $1.6 million. Originally, SERFF had hoped to complete the project for $1.5 million.

But, on the bright side, the carriers trying to sell health plans through the exchanges have filed more forms with state insurance regulators than expected, and that’s helped boost SERFF system activity levels and revenue, SERFF says.

SERFF is an affiliate of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The NAIC’s SERFF Advisory Board included the exchange plan support services project update in a packet of materials prepared for the NAIC’s fall meeting.

SERFF handled a total of 544,884 filings for all lines of business in 2012, down 2.5 percent from the 2011 total.

This year, SERFF is on track to handle about 640,000 filings, or about 20 percent more than managers had expected, and revenue has been about 8 percent higher than expected.

“While some of the overage can be attributed to an increase in both life and property-casualty filing volumes, the majority is a result of the submission of [PPACA exchange] qualified health plans and related rate and form filings,” Joy Morrison, a SERFF official, says in a memo included with the advisory board packet.

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