This Week, June 11 - 15, 2018

Read the latest news from the Academy.

Recent Academy Activity, June 11–15, 2018

Health Groups Release Issue Briefs on Medicare, 2019 Premium Drivers

Two Academy Health Practice Council groups released issue briefs on Wednesday.

The Individual and Small Group Markets Committee released Drivers of 2019 Health Insurance Premium Changes, which provides an overview of the factors underlying premium rate setting and highlights the major components driving 2019 premium changes for health insurance plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The issue brief drew widespread media coverage, including in The Hill, Kaiser Health News, Axios, the Washington Examiner, Newsmax, Advisor Magazine, and Inside Health Policy. Read the Academy news release.

The Medicare Subcommittee released Medicare’s Financial Condition: Beyond Actuarial Balance, providing an analysis of the 2018 Medicare Trustees Report that was published last week. With the Medicare program facing serious financing challenges, it notes the Federal Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund is not adequate to fund HI benefits, increases in the Supplementary Medical Insurance costs increase pressure on beneficiary household budgets and the federal budget, and increases in total Medicare spending threaten the program’s sustainability. A HealthExec story cited the issue brief.

Take a Ride With the Academy’s Magic School Bus Book

The Magic School Bus Takes a Risk: A Book about Probability is a custom book in the acclaimed series that was sponsored by the Academy and donated to grades 3–5 in the Washington, D.C., public school system. It aims to show children that actuaries use math to bring them on amazing journeys. During an adventurous field trip led by Ms. Frizzle, the children join Aunt Maxine, an actuary, and explore how actuaries help people understand and lessen risk for their community. Order individual copies today for the budding mathematicians in your life. We also welcome corporate sponsorships.

Professionalism Outreach

Council on Professionalism member Mike Ward provided about 65 members of the Actuaries’ Club of the Southwest with “A Look at Ethics and Professionalism” at the club’s spring meeting in Dallas. The first half of his presentation outlined the guidance and resources available for an actuary facing an ethical dilemma through the Code of Professional Conduct, the U.S. Qualification Standards, the actuarial standards of practice, and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline. The presentation concluded with Ward engaging the audience in a discussion of three case studies.

Monday—Professionalism Webinar to Look at the Code

Next Monday’s professionalism webinar, “The Code of Professional Conduct: Learning From the Mistakes of Others,” will walk attendees through scenarios inspired by mistakes that have landed actuaries on the wrong side of the Code. Presenters will discuss the ethical issues these scenarios raise and subjects including professional integrity, competence and control of work product, communication, standards of practice, and counseling and discipline. Presenters will be Academy President-Elect Shawna Ackerman; Past President Cecil Bykerk; and Joeff Williams, vice president for professionalism and recently nominated to be the Academy’s next president-elect. The Academy believes in good faith that continuing education credit under the U.S. Qualification Standards and JBEA continuing professional education core ethics credits for enrolled actuaries will be available. The webinar will be held on Monday, June 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT. Register today.

Recently Released

The June HealthCheck covers the health issue briefs released this week, health session topics for the Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum, new voter guides for the 2018 midterm elections, and legislative and regulatory updates.


  • A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the federal government is not required to provide payments that were promised under the risk corridors program established by the ACA to two insurers that were participating in the marketplace.

Public Policy Activity

  • The Life Reserves Work Group submitted a revised Amendment Proposal Form (APF) on the aggregation of mortality segments in response to comments received on the group’s original version of the APF.

  • The Long-Term Care (LTC) / Disability Committee send a comment letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on proposed legislation to add an LTC benefit to the Medicare program, evaluating it in terms of financing, benefits, and coordination with other programs.

Upcoming Events

In the News

  • UN Environment Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Erik Solheim noted the U.S. actuarial profession’s joint efforts on the Actuaries Climate Index and the forthcoming Actuaries Climate Risk Index in a column for UN Environment.

  • An MPR News (Minn.) radio story on the financial challenges facing multiemployer plans in Minnesota cited the Multiemployer Plans Subcommittee’s June 2017 issue brief, Overview of Multiemployer Pension System Issues.


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