Today, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule and an interim final rule addressing a variety of issues relative to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements. The new regulations make no changes to the treatment of independent insurance agent and broker commissions. We continue to discuss potential regulatory solutions with HHS, and have had conversations with the department as recently as this morning. However, our primary strategy remains a legislative solution, as it is the only way to guarantee a comprehensive and permanent fix.e
We now have 140 bipartisan cosponsors of H.R. 1206, the measure introduced by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-MI) and John Barrow (D-GA) to exclude agent and broker compensation from the MLR calculation and make improvements to the state-level MLR waiver adjustment process. We are hopeful for Senate action on this issue soon, and the House Small Business Committee will take up the MLR requirements in a hearing on December 15 featuring NAHU member Mitchell West.
Today’s action is another indication that your interactions with federal legislators and participation in NAHU’s 2012 Capitol Conference in Washington, DC on January 23-25 are more important than ever. Please watch for more details about the new rules in your Washington Update on Monday, as well as the next steps as to how all members can continue to help on a grassroots level moving forward.