The head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners's new short-term care insurance panel works in Missouri for John Huff (shown above), who is president of the organization. (Photo: Handout)

Members of the Senior Issues Task Force are continuing their efforts to prepare states’ insurance laws and regulations for the aging of the baby boomers.

The task force, part of the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee at the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has created two new regulatory panels.

One is a Short-Term Health Policies Providing Long-Term Care Benefits Subgroup. That subgroup will look at short-term care insurance policies, or policies that cover skilled nursing care, rehabilitation facility care, home health care or other forms of non-acute health care for relatively short periods of time.

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The task force has also created a Long-Term Care Benefit Adjustment Subgroup. That subgroup will look at situations in which long-term care insurance issuers give policyholders a choice between paying higher rates for the same benefits or paying lower rates for a lower level of benefits.

That subgroup will look at how to analyze the value of long-term care insurance benefits adjustment options and what insurers should tell the long-term care insurance policyholders about benefits adjustment offers.

The NAIC is a group for state insurance regulators. States can choose whether to use the model laws and regulations it develops as the basis for their own laws and regulations. In some cases, states adopt NAIC models as is. In other cases, few states adopt NAIC models.

The formation of a subgroup does not necessarily mean the NAIC will develop a model in a particular area, but it may increase the odds that the NAIC will at least talk about creating a model law, a model regulation, or some other type of model, such as a model bulletin, or a model instruction manual section for insurance company examiners.

The benefit adjustment subgroup does not yet have any meeting dates on its section of the NAIC’s website.

The short-term care insurance subgroup plans to meet through a telephone conference call at 3 p.m. Eastern time Oct. 19.

The meeting notice shows that Mary Mealer, a life and health manager on the market regulation team at the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, will be the subgroup chairman.

In Missouri, Mealer works under John Huff. Huff, the Missouri insurance director, is also the NAIC’s president. That relationship could increase the visibility of any in-person meeting sessions or regulatory projects the subgroup starts.

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