Breakout Sessions

Slides from select breakout sessions are available to Academy members who attended the 2018 Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum. Click on the titles to access the slides. 

Slides are also available for Cara LaPointe’s presentation during the Big Data plenary session.



  • Regulating the Affordable Care Act: What’s New for 2019
    Federal and state regulations that implement the Affordable Care Act are often revised to reflect changes in the law and other policy changes, such as those initiated through presidential executive orders. In this session, representatives from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will discuss the latest regulatory changes affecting coverage in the ACA marketplaces.

MODERATOR: Cori Uccello, MAAA, FSA, FCA, Senior Health Fellow, American Academy of Actuaries
SPEAKERS: Kelly Drury, Director, Division of Risk Adjustment Operations, CCIIO, CMS; Melissa Jaffe, Health Insurance Specialist, CCIIO, CMS; Brent Plemons, Deputy Director, Rates Review Division, Oversight, CCIIO, CMS; and Jeff Wu, Associate Deputy Director for Policy Coordination, CCIIO, CMS
  • Reference Pricing: Can it Reduce Health Spending?
    This panel debuted a new research study by the Academy’s Health Practice Council, released right before the annual meeting, in which claims data from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) has been used to model national adoption of reference pricing. The results indicate a range of possible savings levels. Following this presentation, discussants—both actuaries and non-actuaries—will broaden the discussion to issues surrounding the challenges and opportunities facing regulators, insurers, employers, and consumers if reference pricing were adopted broadly. 

MODERATOR: Steven I. Jackson, Assistant Director for Research (Public Policy), American Academy of Actuaries
SPEAKERS: Shawn Bishop, Vice President, Controlling Health Care Costs and Advancing Medicare, The Commonwealth Fund; Matthew Fiedler, Fellow, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy; Susan Pantely, MAAA, FSA, Chairperson, Health Care Delivery Committee
  • Long-term care experience
    Private long-term care insurance (LTCI) is an option for some individuals to finance future long-term care needs. LTCI has received much attention due to the relative size and frequency of premium rate increases. As insurance regulators, actuaries, and LTCI companies have assessed the necessity and justification for these premium rate increase requests, some have questioned whether types of past losses should not be recoverable. This session will explore current methods for the premium rate increase process and discussion about efforts directed toward more uniformity among various states and jurisdictions. 


MODERATOR: David Plumb, MAAA, FSA, Long Term Care Reform Subcommitee
SPEAKERS: Rhonda Ahrens; MAAA; FSA, Nebraska Department of Insurance; Robert Eaton, MAAA, FSA, Milliman


  • Actuarial Perspectives on 2018 PBR Actuarial Reports
    On Jan. 1, 2017, principle-based reserving for life products was adopted as part of the Valuation Manual. The new PBR approach represented a paradigm shift in how statutory reserves for life products are calculated, utilizing cash flow models and assumptions based on company experience. There is a voluntary, three-year transition to implement the new PBR approach, and several companies elected to implement PBR in 2017 for all or some of their products. Actuaries from these companies that filed PBR actuarial reports with state regulators in early 2018 will provide their perspectives, as well as a summary of the regulators’ review and assessment of these submitted PBR actuarial reports.

MODERATOR: Dave Neve, MAAA, FSA, CERA, Vice President, Life
SPEAKERS: Pat Allison, MAAA, FSA; National Association of Insurance Commissoners; Larry Bruning, MAAA, FSA, National Association of Insurance Commissoners; Amy Eby, MAAA, FSA, Lincoln Financial; Linda Lankowski, MAAA, FSA, Vice Chairperson, Life Practice Council

  • The Impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on Life Insurers
    TCJA made changes to general corporate taxation rules that will affect life insurers. The most well-known of these changes is the reduction in the corporate tax rate. But, TCJA also made significant changes that are unique in the taxation of life insurance companies, for example with respect to the calculation of tax reserves. Learn about the ways in which TCJA will affect life insurers, including with respect to risk-based capital, and what this will mean for actuaries.

MODERATOR: Barbara Gold, MAAA, FSA, Chairperson, Tax Work Group (LPC)
SPEAKERS: Regina Rose, Senior Vice President, Taxes & Retirement Security, American Council of Life Insurers; Philip Barlow, MAAA, FSA, Associate Commissioner, DC Department of Insurance; Wayne Stuenkel, MAAA, FSA, CERA, Chairperson, RBC Tax Reform Work Group

  • Pension-Risk Transfers
    The purchase of insurance company annuities by pension plan sponsors to meet obligations and eliminate future risk (pension risk transfer) has become increasingly common. While there is some public awareness of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation protection for pension plans, safeguards and regulations for the insurers that take on these pension obligations are less understood. This session will discuss the regulatory scrutiny of pension risk transfers and their impact on the security of retirement benefits.

MODERATOR: Paul Navratil, MAAA, FSA, Chairperson, Longevity Risk Task Force
SPEAKERS: Seong-min Eom, MAAA, FSA, Chief Actuary, NJ Department of Insurance; Frank Todisco, MAAA, FSA, FCA, EA, U.S. Government Accountability Office  


  • Strengthening Our Retirement System
    This session will focus on the spectrum of challenges facing our retirement system. A little more than half of American workers participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the majority of which are defined contribution plans. But this means that nearly half of Americans must rely only on Social Security and their own savings for their retirement income. And for those covered by defined contribution plans, converting account balances into lifetime income can be a significant challenge, leaving those retirees at greater risk later in life. Long-term forecasts of the Social Security system show that revenues are expected to cover only about 75 percent of the scheduled benefits, potentially placing further strain on retirement finances. Some in Congress are paying attention to retirement security issues, and proposals have been put forward to attempt to strengthen the U.S. retirement system. This policy-heavy session will feature stakeholders and experts on retirement policy and examine efforts to ensure that American retirees have the resources they need for a secure retirement.

MODERATOR: Tim Geddes, MAAA, FCA, FSA, EA, Chairperson, Pension Accounting Resource Group
SPEAKERS: Zvi Bodie, PhD., Boston University; Aharon Friedman, Committee on Ways and Means (Majority), U.S. House of Representatives; Deva A. Kyle, Committee on Ways and Means (Minority), U.S. House of Representatives; Monique Morrissey, Economic Policy Institute
  • The Other Side of the Coin—How Employers View the Retirement Programs They Sponsor
    Policymakers, academics, and think tanks and others, including the American Academy of Actuaries, have devoted an enormous amount of time and energy in recent years to try to understand and address the financial needs of retired workers. Much of this effort has focused on proposals to improve the employer-sponsored retirement plan system. Despite this focus, too often the needs and objectives of the employers that sponsor and fund these plans have been ignored. This session will feature employers in the private and public sectors that are on the leading edge of retirement plan innovation. The speakers will address employer objectives for their plans, how employers evaluate their programs for success, and their suggestions for policy changes to make retirement plans more valuable to both employers and participants.

MODERATOR: Bruce Cadenhead, MAAA, FSA, FCA, EA, Vice Chairperson, Pension Committee
SPEAKERS: Lynn Dudley, American Benefits Council; Scott Henderson, Consultant; Robert A. Wylie, Executive Director, South Dakota Retirement System
  • Tasked With Saving a System in Crisis—The Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans
    The multiemployer pension system faces enormous challenges, including plans that have almost exhausted their assets, and still-solvent plans struggling to maintain the participation of their contributing employers. The congressional Joint Select Committee on the Solvency of Multiemployer Plans is seeking to develop legislative solutions for the multiemployer system. It has held several hearings on this topic since its creation earlier this year, and faces a deadline of Nov. 30, 2018, set by statute, for reporting recommendations. Speakers will explore a range of ideas that might be included in a multiemployer reform proposal, and will offer insights into the directions that Congress could take.

MODERATOR: Eli Greenblum, MAAA, FSA, FLA, EA, Segal Consulting
SPEAKERS: Pamela H. Nissen, Leonard, O'Brien, Spencer, Gale, & Sayre, Ltd.; Aliya Wong, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Kendra Kosko Isaacson, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions 



  • Government-Backed P/C Insurance Programs
    ​This session takes a look at government-run and government-backed p/c insurance programs at the federal and state levels. What role do they play? How do they work? Do the usual actuarial rules apply?

MODERATOR: Shawna Ackerman, MAAA, FCAS, Academy President-Elect
SPEAKERS: John Pedrick, MAAA, FCAS, Chairperson, Government-Backed P/C Insurance Committee; Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis, Government Accountability Office; Frank Todisco, MAAA, FSA, FCA, EA, U.S. Government Accountability Office  
  • Climate Risk and Insurance
    There has been a rise in number and intensity of severe weather events. How are stakeholders responding? What should actuaries be thinking about? What can regulators do?

MODERATOR:  Rade Musulin, MAAA, ACAS, Vice President, Casualty
SPEAKERS: Gabriel Maser, International Code Council; Shana Udvardy, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • New Economy and Insurance
    There are thousands of peer-to-peer rental transactions every day, involving automobiles, recreational vehicles, houses, apartments and more. Uber and Lyft and others have created thousands of part-time commercial drivers. The so-called gig economy raises questions about employment-based benefits including workers’ compensation. Are actuaries keeping pace with these changes in the economy?

MODERATOR: Jim Lynch, MAAA, FCAS, Insurance Information Institute
SPEAKERS: Steve Armstrong, MAAA, FCAS, Allstate; David Michaels, professor of environmental and occupational health, Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University, and former assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration