This Week: July 10-14, 2017

Read the latest news from the Academy.

Recent Academy Activity, July 10–14, 2017

Issue Brief Looks at Premium Drivers; Risk Pools FAQs Released

The Individual and Small Group Markets Committee published an issue brief, Drivers of 2018 Health Insurance Premium Changes, providing an overview of the general factors underlying premium rate setting and highlighting the major components driving Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium changes in 2018.

Separately, the Health Practice Council on Friday released a new policy paper highlighting several frequently asked questions on risk pooling—how it works in the current individual market, and how proposed changes to the use of risk pooling may affect premiums.

PPC Issue Brief Assesses Solvency of Pension Plans

The Pension Practice Council published an issue brief, Assessing Pension Plan Health: More Than One Right Number Tells the Whole Story, which explores various methods to measure the financial health of pension plans. Among its findings are that a single number often cannot comprehensively address an issue as complex as the obligation or funded status of a pension plan; the availability of multiple measurements can lead to a more robust understanding of the situation and more well-reasoned conclusions; the purpose, framework, and underlying assumptions used are critical when interpreting available information; and understanding that there is more than one right number is an essential step toward engaging in critical issues of retirement security.

Volunteer Survey Closes Today

The Academy’s annual volunteer survey continues through the end of the day today, July 14. Take advantage of this opportunity to express your interest in joining those volunteers who develop our valuable analytical input to diverse stakeholders—including, for example, material on health care reform, flood insurance, and principle-based reserving—and to join your colleagues in service to the Academy, the profession, and the public by delivering independent, objective, and nonpartisan information to policymakers. If you have any questions about volunteering or about the survey, please email volunteersurvey@actuary.org or call 202-223-8196. Take the survey today, or visit the members-only section of the Academy’s website.

Next Week—Watch for an Academy Election Email

Academy members will receive an email next Friday, July 21, from Intelliscan, our election vendor, announcing that information regarding election of regular directors for the Academy Board will be sent soon thereafter. The email will come from academy2017@intelliscaninc.net; please add this address to your safe senders list and/or check your junk-mail folder after July 21 to make sure you have received it. We encourage members to take part in electing the newest leaders of the Academy who will help us fulfill our mission to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession.

Call for Volunteers—Financial Reporting Committee

As occurs throughout the year, in addition to the annual Volunteer Survey noted above, Academy Committees with specific or short-term needs also seek immediate help from additional volunteers. The Financial Reporting Committee is currently looking for volunteers to work on a variety of upcoming projects related to the International Accounting Standards Board’s recent release of IFRS 17–Insurance Contracts. The committee will be creating a cross-practice work group that will be charged with planning and executing a variety of initiatives, including webinars and possible work products related to the IFRS 17 release. If interested, please contact Nikhail Nigam, policy analyst for risk management and financial reporting matters, at nigam@actuary.org.

Alerts

  • The Medicare and Social Security boards of trustees issued their annual reports Thursday. The reports show that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to cover its obligations through 2029, and that the retirement and disability programs of Social Security in combination have sufficient resources to cover benefits until 2034, unchanged from last year’s projection. However, the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will exhaust its reserves in 2028, five years later than in last year’s projection.

  • A revised discussion draft of legislation to, in part, repeal and replace the ACA was released by the U.S. Senate Budget Committee majority Thursday. A floor vote is possible next week.

Upcoming Events

  • Registration Open for P/C Loss Seminar: Registration opened this month for the 2017 Seminar on Effective P/C Loss Reserve Opinions. This two-day seminar, to be held Dec. 7–8 in Chicago, will enhance your expertise on the latest regulations and standards and will include reviews of actuarial qualification standards and interactive case studies. Register today.

  • Early Registration Rates Available for Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum: Take advantage of early registration rates and register today for the Academy’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum, to be held Nov. 14–15 in Washington, D.C. Breakout session information is available online. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and Watergate fame will give a plenary address Nov. 14, and political commentators Mark Shields and Alex Castellanos will be featured in a Nov. 15 interactive plenary session. Continuing education (CE) credit is available.

  • LHQ Seminar Agenda-at-a-Glance: An agenda-at-a-glance is available for the 2017 Life and Health Qualifications Seminar, to be held Nov. 12–16 in Arlington, Va. This popular and highly regarded seminar provides three days of training and instruction, along with the opportunity for attendees to take the Specific Qualification Standard exam on the final day. Attendees can earn up to 27 hours of CE, including up to 2.7 professionalism hours. Register now for the lowest rates.

  • Regulator-Focused PBR Boot Camp Set for September: Registration is now open for the Academy’s popular PBR Boot Camp, to be held Sept. 11–13 in Las Vegas. The Academy’s fourth Boot Camp will include new content aimed at providing regulators—and others working closely with regulators to implement and audit principle-based reserving (PBR)—with essential background information and key learning experiences. Register today.

Public Policy Activities

  • Barb Klever, vice chairperson of the Individual and Small Group Markets Committee, presented Friday at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators summer meeting in Chicago on drivers of 2018 health premium changes.

  • The Health Financial Reporting and Solvency Committee submitted a proposed amendment related to high-cost risk pooling in the ACA risk adjustment program to the NAIC’s Statutory Accounting Principles (E) Working Group.

  • The VM-31 Subgroup submitted comments to the NAIC’s Life Actuarial Task Force on an amendment to eliminate the summary of methods and assumptions that covers multiple product groups in the executive summary.

  • Senior Life Fellow Nancy Bennett and Tom Campbell, chairperson of the Life Valuation Committee’s AG 43/C3 Phase II Work Group, presented to the Federal Reserve Board Insurance Industry Work Group on regulatory capital requirements for life insurers.

  • The Financial Regulatory Task Force submitted comments to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on H.R. 3110, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act.

  • The Committee on Property and Liability Financial Reporting submitted comments to the NAIC’s Title Insurance Financial Reporting Working Group that raised questions about proposed changes to the way reserves are reported in the title statement of actuarial opinion.

Recently Released

  • The Academy participates in and provides support for the meetings of the North American Actuarial Council (NAAC), which is hosted by Mexican, U.S.-based, and Canadian actuarial associations. NAAC released its annual report

    for 2015–2016.
  • The July HealthCheck covers the Individual and Small Group Markets Committee’s issue brief on factors driving 2018 premium changes; Academy health committees’ comments to U.S. Senate leadership on health care legislation under consideration; and legislative, judicial, and regulatory updates from the states and the federal government.

In the News

  • Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello’s comments providing an actuarial perspective on how an amendment proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to the Senate health bill would affect the individual market received wide media coverage, including in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Morning Consult, and in local newspapers across the country.

  • In remarks made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and televised live on C-SPAN, Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) cited the Academy’s analysis that 2017 health premium increases in a number of states are not necessarily indicative of an ACA premium spiral.

  • A subscriber-only Bloomberg BNA story on the National Flood Insurance Program’s debt cited comments by Rade Musulin, the Academy’s vice president, casualty.

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2017 Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum