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July 9, 2014

Academy Activities

Cori Uccello, the Academy’s senior health fellow, testified on June 18 before members of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs. Uccello gave an actuarial assessment of the three Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk-sharing mechanisms (also known as the 3Rs). A video of the hearing is available.

Uccello also spoke at an Alliance for Health Reform briefing on the factors influencing 2015 health insurance premiums. C-SPAN carried the briefing.

On June 20, the Academy Health Practice Financial Reporting Committee submitted comments to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group on its new accounting proposal for the 3Rs under the ACA.

On June 11, the Academy’s Medicare Part D RBC Subgroup submitted a report to the NAIC’s Health Risk-Based Capital Working Group recommending that no change be made to the risk factors for Medicare Part D coverage.

Legislative/Regulatory Updates

check markOn June 30, 2014, the Department of the Treasury published a final rule addressing the tax credit available to small employers offering health insurance coverage to their employees for years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014. The final rules are effective as of June 30.

check markThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule on July 1 specifying additional options for annual eligibility redeterminations and renewal and re-enrollment notice requirements for qualified health plans offered through an exchange. Comments on the proposed rule are due by July 28.

check markOn July 2, CMS issued a correcting amendment to a previously issued final rule addressing exchanges, premium stabilization programs, and market standards. The correcting amendment corrects both technical and typographic errors.

In the News/Media Activities

Several media outlets reported on Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello’s two Capitol Hill appearances in June. Uccello’s June 18 congressional testimony on the ACA’s risk-sharing mechanisms helped explain the programs to members of Congress “in plain English,” according to a LifeHealthPro story. A second LifeHealthPro story cited Uccello’s response to a question about the performance of the risk corridor program. Other outlets that covered the testimony included The Daily SignalInsuranceNewsNet, and the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter.

Uccello’s second Capitol Hill appearance, discussing 2015 health care premiums, was reported in The Commonwealth Fund blog.

Additionally, Uccello provided editorial review of a Health Affairs policy brief examining the ACA’s risk corridor program. The brief cites the Academy’s Fact Sheet: ACA Risk-Sharing Mechanisms: The 3Rs (Risk Adjustment, Risk Corridors, and Reinsurance) Explained as a source.

Forbes column cited Academy statistics on cost savings from consumer-directed plans. The statistics are from the report, The Emerging Data on Consumer-Driven Health Plans.

The Academy’s analysis of state decisions regarding renewals of non-ACA-compliant health plans was featured in The Commonwealth Fund blog posting reviewing the transitional policy. The analysis is in the Academy’s issue brief, Drivers of 2015 Health Insurance Premium Changes.

A blog posting on 2015 health insurance premiums by America’s Health Insurance Plans urges readers to look to actuaries for “proper focus and explanation” of the factors behind premium changes. “Everyone wants to know what premiums are going to look like for 2015 in the new health care marketplaces. The answer of course is not straightforward, but it deserves proper focus and explanation. So where do we turn? Well, you know who is pretty good at sorting through this kind of thing? Actuaries.”

Upcoming Events

Children’s Health Coverage: What You Need to Know
Briefing: July 14, 12:30 p.m.–2:00 pm. EDT
Sponsor: Alliance for Health Reform

Health Affairs Briefing: Using Big Data to Transform Care
Briefing: July 9, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EDT
Sponsor: Health Affairs

Health Insurance Marketplaces in 2014: Behind the Numbers
Briefing: July 11, 12:15–2 p.m. EDT
Sponsor: Alliance for Health Reform

For a complete listing of upcoming and recent health care reform events, click here.