The new year has just started, the members of the 115th Congress are reallocating their office space, and junior staff members of the incoming Trump administration are learning how the office microwaves work.

Meanwhile, time is coming at your clients and prospects like a monster truck full of plastic explosives.

You need sales. You need to know what legislators and regulators are going to throw at you. And, employers and consumer households need protection against illness, injury, disability and long-term care risk now as much as ever. 

Related: Advisors need to improve time management skills

The calendar for 2017 can be an enemy that wears you, and them, down, or a friend that gives you ideas for opportunities to reach out with ads, seminars, webinars, tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn commentaries, blog entries, direct mail campaigns and tables at drug stores. 

Related: 8 ways to stop procrastinating and get more done

Executive agencies and legislative bodies are already sketching out agendas that could change everything.

Public and private research organizations are gathering data for reports that could shape what happens next.

Insurance and benefits groups are lining up sponsors for the coffee breaks, banquets and golf outings at their in-person events, where, between sips of coffee or fights against sand traps, you might get hints about what the heck is really going on in your colleagues’ offices.

The following 2017 planner was prepared to give you an idea of what’s coming up in Congress, federal agencies, public company reporting, health insurance regulation, data releases, and trade and professional groups that might affect agents, advisors and their clients.

We had to skip many of the critical events happing in state legislatures and state insurance regulatory agencies, or at most of the state-based Affordable Care Act exchanges. But we have included the board meetings for Covered California, the public exchange in California, which offers live web video streams of its sessions.

All dates are subject to change, and it’s possible that upcoming shifts in Washington could eliminate or drastically alter some of the events and deadlines listed here.

Also note that some of the events and documents listed here are free, but others, including many of the in-person events, may cost $1,000 or more. You can use the links provided to get more details, including information about registrations and other fees.

January (iStock)

January

In January, Congress and the Trump administration will get to work, actuaries will talk about extreme longevity risk, and Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. will kick off earnings season.  

Year-round: U.S. Senate hearing schedule. (Updated daily.)

Year-round: U.S. House hearing schedule. (Updated daily.)

Jan. 3: U.S. Senate convenes.

Jan. 3: U.S. House convenes. 

Jan. 4-6: Society of Actuaries, Living to 100 symposium, in Orlando, Florida.

Jan. 6: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Long-Term Care Valuation Subgroup, conference call. 

Jan. 11-12: National Business Group on Health, Employers’ Summit on Health Care Costs and Solutions, in Washington.

Jan. 12: National Center for Health Statistics, release of data on marital status and employed women’s access to health coverage.

Jan. 15: This is the scheduled end of the open enrollment period for HealthCare.gov plans with benefits starting Feb. 1.

Jan. 17: UnitedHealth Group Inc. expects to release earnings before 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Jan. 17: National Federation of Independent Business, Obamacare: Prospects for Repeal/Potential Replacements, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Webinar version available.

Jan. 20: Inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.

Jan. 25-26: National Business Group on Health, Employers’ Forum on Mental Health and Emotional-Well-Being, in San Francisco.

Jan. 25-27: U.S. House, House Republican Issues Conference. Location not available.

Jan. 26: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California) board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

Jan. 30: Aetna Inc. expects to release earnings before 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Jan. 31: Unum Group Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Jan. 31: Internal Revenue Service. Deadline for getting the following health insurance-related forms to the individual who has the related coverage or personal health account: with the IRS: the Form 1099-LTC Long-Term Care and Accelerated Death Benefits; the Form 1099-SA Distributions from an HSA, Archer MSA or Medicare Advantage HSA; the Form 1095-B Health Coverage Instructions; the Form 1094-B health insurance coverage offer notice transmittal form; the Form 1095-C Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance; and the Form 1094-C health insurance coverage offer notice transmittal form.

Jan. 31: This is the scheduled end of the open enrollment period for individual major medical coverage for 2017.

Related: GOP readies swift Obamacare repeal with no replacement in place

February (iStock)February (iStock)

February

In February, earnings reports will pour out quickly, and, if the current reporting schedule sticks, employers will have to send huge numbers of health coverage offer reporting forms.

February, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, Health Insurance Coverage Tables (January 2016-September 2016). 

February, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, early release of health and chronic disease data from the National Health Interview Survey (January 2016-September 2016).

February, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, survey data on use of clinical preventive services for cancer and heart disease among insured adults.

Feb. 1: Anthem Inc. expects to release earnings before 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 1: MetLife Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 2: Cigna Corp. expects to release earnings at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 4: Genworth Financial Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 4-8: Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Legislative & Working Groups Summit, in Washington.

Feb. 4: Molina Healthcare Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 6: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Accident and Sickness Insurance Minimum Standards Subgroup, conference call.

Feb. 6: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Consumer Information Subgroup (health), conference call.

Feb. 7: Centene Corp. expects to release earnings before 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 7: WellCare Health Plans Inc. expects to release earnings at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 8: Humana Inc. expects to release earnings before 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 8: CNO Financial Group Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 8: Prudential Financial Inc. expects to release earnings after 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Feb. 8-10: U.S. House, House Democratic Issues Conference. Location not available.

Feb. 13: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Accident and Sickness Insurance Minimum Standards Subgroup, conference call.

Feb. 14: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, prescription drug model subgroup, conference call.

Feb. 28: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, prescription drug model subgroup, conference call.

Feb. 13-15: National Association of Health Underwriters, Capitol Conference, in Washington. 

Feb. 28: Internal Revenue Service. Deadline for filing the following forms with the IRS: Form 1099-LTC Long-Term Care and Accelerated Death Benefits; Form 1099-SA Distributions from an HSA, Archer MSA or Medicare Advantage HSA; the paper version of Form 1095-B Health Coverage; the paper version of the 1094-B health insurance coverage reporting offer notice transmittal form; the paper version of Form 1095-C Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance; and the 1094-C health insurance coverage offer notice transmittal form. 

Related: UnitedHealth stock wins in 2016 annus horribilis for health care

March (iStock)

March

In March, the government statisticians at the National Center for Health Statistics will offer a clearer look at how the Affordable Care Act worked in 2016, HealthCare.gov managers will meet with 2018 exchange plan issuers, and the Manalapan, New Jersey-based National Conference of Insurance Legislators and America’s Health Insurance Plans will hold major conferences.

March, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of data on how patients ages 18 to 64 expected to pay for emergency room care in 2012.

March, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of data from the National Health Interview Survey on the short-term and long-term uninsured.

March, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of data on access to care among adults ages 18 to 64 with high-deductible health plans.

March, date to be determined: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will release an interim Affordable Care Act risk-adjustment program report. This report will show roughly how much cash issuers with low-risk enrollees might have to send to issuers with high-risk enrollees.

March 2: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California) board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

March 3-5: National Conference of Insurance Legislators, spring meeting, in New Orleans.

March 6: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Accident and Sickness Insurance Minimum Standards Subgroup, conference call.

March 8-9: America’s Health Insurance Plans, National Health Policy Conference, in Washington.

March 9-10: America’s Health Insurance Plans, National Conference on Individual and Small-Group Markets, in Washington.

March 14: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, prescription drug model subgroup, conference call.

March 15-17: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Annual Qualified Health Plan Issuer Conference, in Baltimore. This is a conference for the managers of the HealthCare.gov public exchange enrollment system and the carriers that sell plans through the system.

March 20: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Accident and Sickness Insurance Minimum Standards Subgroup, conference call.

March 26-29: Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance Conference, in Jacksonville, Florida. A long-term care insurance industry conference 

March 28: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, prescription drug model subgroup, conference call.

March 29-31: National Business Group on Health, Business Health Agenda 2017, in Washington.

March 31: Internal Revenue Service. Deadline for filing the following forms with the IRS: the electronic version of Form 1095-B Health Coverage; the electronic version of the 1094-B health insurance coverage reporting offer notice transmittal form; the electronic version of Form 1095-C Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance; and the electronic version of the 1094-C health insurance coverage offer notice transmittal form.

Related: Obama’s CMS sends invites to Trump’s health plan party

April (iStock)

April

In April, if the Affordable Care Act exchange plan system will continue to exist in 2018, the would-be plan issuers will be telling the exchange managers about their 2018 menu plans. BenefitsPRO and the Westlake Village, California-based America Association of Medicare Supplement Insurance will give agents and brokers opportunities to mull what’s happened in Washington lately. The state insurance regulators at the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners will hold their first in-person meeting under the new administration.

April, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of “Health, United States, 2016,” a major national health data almanac.

April 3: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Accident and Sickness Insurance Minimum Standards Subgroup, conference call.

April 5-May 3: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will take applications from carriers that want to sell exchange plans through HealthCare.gov in 2018 during this period.

April 8-11: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, spring meeting, in Honolulu.

April 11-13: BenefitsPRO Broker Expo, in Indianapolis. An educational and networking event for benefits brokers, advisors, agents and consultants.

April 11-13: American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance and the National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information, Medicare Supplement Insurance Conference/Short-Term Care Insurance Summit, in Dallas.

April 20: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

April 25: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, prescription drug model subgroup, conference call.

Related: 18 federal health budget cut options 

May (iStock)

May

In May, regulators may start to get ideas about what health insurance prices will look like in 2018.

May, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of Health Insurance Coverage Tables (2016). 

May, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of health and chronic disease data from the National Health Interview Survey (2016).

May 3: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services deadline for submitting rates for 2018 health plan product menus that include any HealthCare.gov plans.

May 18: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

May 22: Center for Insurance Policy and Research, Insurance Summit, in Kansas City, Missouri. Will cover a number of health insurance regulation issues, including rate regulations and the plights of the Affordable Care Act Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan carriers.

May 30-June 2: Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Employee Benefits Leadership Forum, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Related: PPACA World 2017: Rate Day

June (iStock)

June

In June, the health insurers at the Washington-based America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the actuaries at the Schaumburg, Illinois-based Society of Actuaries, may be talking about whether health insurers have enough clarity about what the market will look like in 2018 to dare to offer products.

At the end of the month, if the current schedule holds, the new administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will tell health insurers how the Affordable Care Act risk-adjustment and reinsurance programs for 2016 might affect their cash flow. In the past two years, startling and disappointing CMS announcements about the ACA risk-adjustment and reinsurance programs have led to waves to health insurer acquisitions and shutdown announcements.

June 7-9: America’s Health Insurance Plans, AHIP Institute & Expo 2017, in Austin, Texas. AHIP’s annual meeting.

June 12-13: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hopes to send requests for changes to any carriers that filed HealthCare.gov products with it on these dates.

June 12-14: Society of Actuaries, Health Meeting, in Hollywood, Florida.

June 15: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California) board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

June 25-28: National Association of Health Underwriters, annual convention and exhibition, Orlando, Florida.

June 30: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will release the Affordable Care Act risk-adjustment and reinsurance programs summary report. This report will show roughly how much cash issuers with low-risk enrollees might have to send to issuers with high-risk enrollees, and how much they may get from the ACA reinsurance program for 2016.

Related: Pharma’s pricing troubles will get worse in 2017

July (iStock)

July

In July, Affordable Care Act exchange managers may be scrambling to put on a show for 2018, or state insurance regulators and insurers may be trying to cope with massive statutory exchanges by scrambling to make some kind of health coverage available to consumers and employers in 2018. If the regulatory for major medical coverage holds reasonably steady, then the National Conference of Insurance Legislators may get a little extra attention, and managers of Covered California, the biggest state-based ACA exchange, may have an above-average chance to share its ideas about what’s happening in Washington.

July 13-16: National Conference of Insurance Legislators, summer meeting, in Chicago.

July 20: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

July 31-Sept. 1: U.S. House, summer recess. 

Related: Labor wants small health plan sponsors to file annual returns

August (iStock)

August

In August, all eyes will be on 2018 health insurance rate and market participation announcements.

Aug. 1: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wants to post 2018 health plan rates on the web on this date.

Aug. 5-8: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, summer meeting, in Philadelphia.

Aug. 17: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

Related: A jaw-dropping sum: mobile app revenue in 2017 [infographic] 

September (iStock)

September

In September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release a batch of data of keen interest to anyone in the long-term care planning market: a close look at the value of the care provided by family caregivers and other unpaid caregivers.


September, date to be determined:
 National Center for Health Statistics, release of Health Insurance Coverage Tables (January-March). 

September, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of health and chronic disease data from the National Health Interview Survey (January-March).

Sept. 15: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hopes the carriers selling exchange plans through HealthCare.gov in 2018 will have their final plan lists locked in by this date. 

Sept. 20: Bureau of Labor Statistics, release of survey data on unpaid elder care in the United States (2015 and 2016). 

Sept. 25-27: Society of Actuaries, LIMRA and LOMA, the Supplemental Health & Protection Conference, in Baltimore.

Sept. 26-28: National Business Group on Health, The Well-being and Performance Value Proposition, in Austin, Texas.

Related: For health insurers, 9/11 started small but might have a long tail 

October (iStock)

October

In October, if HealthCare.gov still exists, its managers will be getting ready to raise the curtain on the fifth annual individual major medical open enrollment period.

Oct. 5: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

Oct. 8-11: International DI Society, annual conference, in Tempe, Arizona.

Oct. 13: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hopes the carriers selling exchange plans through HealthCare.gov in 2018 will have their final plan lists corrected and ready for action by this date. 

Related: Blues association re-elects Daniel Hilferty chairman

November (iStock)

November

 

In November, the fifth annual open enrollment period will start, or a new health insurance world will start.

Entire month: Long-Term Care Awareness Month.

November, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of Health Insurance Coverage Tables (January-June). 

November, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of health and chronic disease data from the National Health Interview Survey (January-June).

November, date to be determined: National Center for Health Statistics, release of data on problems with paying medical bills among persons under age 65 (January-June).

Nov. 1: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services intends to start the individual major medical coverage open enrollment period for 2018 coverage on this date. 

Nov. 14-15: American Academy of Actuaries, annual meeting and public policy forum, in Washington.

Nov. 16: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

Nov. 16-19: National Conference of Insurance Legislators, annual meeting, in Phoenix.

Related: ACA exchanges report strong early application activity

December (iStock)

December

In December, members of Congress and others who normally would not be all that interested in state insurance regulation might notice that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ fall meeting is in Hawaii.

Dec. 2-4: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, fall meeting, in Honolulu.

Dec. 21: California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), board meeting, in Sacramento, California. Live streaming web video available. 

Related:

HealthCare.gov increases signups 6%

Obama administration adjusts ACA exchange program for 2018

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