HHS Official: Medical Loss Ratio Rules Will Allow ‘Flexibility’

A senior health official has promised insurers “discretion” – especially for “smaller” and “newer” plans – in pending regulation that will require them to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health services, Insurance News Net reports. Jay Angoff, the director of HHS’s Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said: “HHS remains committed to implementing the law in a way that minimizes disruption to coverage that is available today while also ensuring that consumers receive the benefits the act provides.” He didn’t specify what discretion would be left to insurers with regard to the so-called medical-loss ratio requirements (Carr, 10/6).

The Washington Post has a backgrounder on the medical-loss ratio debate today, adding: “As soon as Oct. 14, the last committee charged with signing off on its proposed regulations could hold its final vote, likely enabling the [National Association of Insurance Commissioners] as a whole to approve its completed recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services at its meeting in Orlando this month. HHS officials aren’t obliged to adopt the commissioners’ advice, but HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has indicated that, for the most part, she will follow it closely” (Aizenman, 10/7).

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