GOP rep. says MLR regs will 'wreck' insurance market

A Republican congressman voiced his disapproval Thursday of new healthcare reform regulations requiring health insurers to spend most premium dollars on health services.

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said the medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations, which require health insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium payments on providing care (85 percent for large group plans), will “wreck the individual and small group market.”

“Our national goals should be to increase health coverage for all Americans,” Carter said in a statement. “This regulation is heading in the exact opposite direction, and must be stopped before it becomes effective.”

The regulations, “Health Insurance Issuers Implementing Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,’’ were issued Dec. 1. Carter introduced H.J. Resolution 103 on Thursday to make his disapproval official.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the MLR provisions will make the insurance market more transparent and prevent insurers from channeling their premium dollars toward administrative costs and profits.