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May 23, 2011
In This Issue
More MLR Action
Final Federal Rate Review Regulation Released
New Reports Indicate Disturbing Trends for Costs and Employer-Sponsored Coverage
Medicare and the Federal Budget
This Week In Washington
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More MLR Action

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)’s medical loss ratio requirements (MLR) continue to be a hot topic, both at the federal level and in the states. Over the past week we have seen MLR action by Congress, the  federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and individual states.  Read More

Final Federal Rate Review Regulation Released

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule on the PPACA rate review provisions last Thursday. Under the new requirements, in addition to normal state rate review provisions, HHS will review all rate increases that exceed 10 percent. If HHS finds that an increase to be unreasonable, they will require the companies to disclose and justify the rate increases publicly. Read More

New Reports Indicate Disturbing Trends for Costs and Employer-Sponsored Coverage

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued two new reports last week on the cost of health insurance and its resulting impact on employer-sponsored coverage.  The first study shows that on average, employers can expect an 8.5 percent increase in their medical costs next year due in some part to the health care reform law. A separate survey of large employers released by the firm showed that as a result of PPACA and its cost-impact, many employers are being forced to make disturbing choices about their health benefit plans.  Read More

Medicare and the Federal Budget

How long-term health care costs, particularly the long-term financial stability of the Medicare program, will impact the federal budget will continue to dominate inside-the-beltway health policy discussions this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is planning to hold a procedural vote on the House-passed budget developed by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday. The Ryan plan includes a policy statement that advocates converting Medicare to a premium support system beginning in 2022. The Medicare debate is also impacting politics outside the beltway, as on Tuesday voters in western New York will head to the polls in a House special election where Medicare has become a top issue. Read More

This Week In Washington

In addition to the budget vote in the Senate, the House Energy and Commerce-Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday about purchasing health insurance across state lines. Read More

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