Consumer representatives want health insurers to give details about how COVID-19 is affecting their proposed 2021 major medical insurance rates.
Eighteen of the reps have asked the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to require insurers to put specific COVID-19 impact information in their rate filings.
“General statements or premium surcharges based on uncertainty provide insufficient information for regulators and the public to evaluate,” the reps write in a letter to the NAIC’s Health Actuarial Task Force. “The inclusion of specific information — ideally alongside assumptions about the COVID-19 infection rate, assumed morbidity rate, and other data — will also help insurers demonstrate to regulators that they are adequately preparing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
- The NAIC’s Health Actuarial Task Force has posted copies of public comments here, under the meeting materials tab.
- The NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee has posted copies of another set of public comments here, under meeting materials tab.
- An article about the NAIC’s work on COVID-19-related accounting rule adjustments is available here.
The NAIC is a Kansas City, Missouri-based group for state insurance regulators.
The NAIC designates people to speak for consumers in NAIC proceedings.
In the past, the NAIC opened most of its in-person meetings and conference calls to members of the public. Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, the NAIC has suspended many of its old streams of work. Regulators have been convening mainly through conference calls that are closed to the public.
Panels that have held open conference calls include the Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group and the Health Actuarial Task Force.
The Health Actuarial Task Force has posted several COVID-19-related comment letters in the Meeting Materials section for a public conference call held last week.
The consumer reps write in their later that uncertainty related to COVID-19 will likely lead to higher premiums in 2021.
“However, we believe that consumers would be best served by greater transparency about how much rate impact insurers expect COVID-19 to have in 2021,” the reps write.
The reps also asked for the NAIC to require health insurers to prepare multiple 2021 rate filings, to reflect different sets of assumptions about the severity of the pandemic.
Actuaries from Oliver Wyman have submitted a separate comment letter about modeling the costs of treating COVID-19.