NAIC turns down administration request for expedited action on medical loss ratio

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said Tuesday it would turn down a request from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for prompt action on the medical loss ratio.

Sebelius sent NAIC President Jane Cline a letter Sept. 14 asking to know if the state insurance commissioners could provide HHS a final recommendation on the forms and instructions in time for the agency to issue regulations relating to the forms in October. HHS would then issue further guidance in December after the NAIC adopts further regulations detailing the methodology insurers must follow to determine their medical loss ratios.

Brian Webb, manager of health policy and legislation at the NAIC, said Tuesday the group would send all its medical loss ratio recommendations together. The NAIC is expected to adopt its MLR final regulations during its Orlando, Fla., retreat in mid-October. 

"We aren't going to do that," Webb said of Sebelius' request.

The healthcare reform law mandates that health plans spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care (85 percent in the large-group market) or give customers rebates starting in 2012.