Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger will conduct a public fact-finding hearing March 14 regarding the impact on Kansas insurance companies and agents of a medical loss ratio (MLR) provision in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The hearing will begin at 1 p.m. in the Shawnee A Room of the Maner Conference Center adjacent to the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd, Topeka.
Praeger said she is “concerned about the impact of this new provision on the insurance companies operating in Kansas, and any potential disruption of the insurance market as a whole.” Insurance companies and agents are invited to provide written and oral testimony about the potential effect of the MLR on their business.
The ACA sets a minimum loss ratio of 80 percent in the individual health insurance market. That means each company must spend 80 cents of every dollar of health insurance premium they received on claims, leaving 20 cents for all administrative costs. This standard is in effect for 2011, and health insurers who do not meet the standard will have to provide refunds to consumers beginning in 2012.
In Kansas, the individual health insurance market is approximately 6.5 percent of the population, approximately 176,000 people. Most Kansans are covered by employer coverage, Medicare or Medicaid.
Those interested in presenting oral testimony at the hearing should contact Linda Sheppard, director of the Kansas Insurance Department’s Accident and Health Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Kansas insurance agents asked our department to conduct this hearing, and we think it is important to have their testimony on the record,” Commissioner Praeger said. “We intend to compile the information, and, if there is justification, petition the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adjust the MLR percentage as stated in the ACA.”
HHS is the federal agency overseeing the implementation of the federal law.
Source: Kansas Insurance Department