The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) gathered this week to vote on a controversial resolution that would have drastic effects on a consumer protection clause of the Affordable Care Act. The provision would have saved consumers nationwide approximately $1 billion in premiums while offering them protections from future rate hikes. The provision is also part of the controversial medical loss ratio provision of the health care law – which requires insurers to pay no less than 80% of their premium money on medical care. Regulators have been divided on the issue, but came to a decision this week.
The resolution passed with 26 regulators in support and 20 against. Supporters of the resolution claim that it will help businesses and brokers perform better in the changing insurance landscape. The resolution aims to make the income of brokers and independent agents exempt from the medical loss ratio. Opponents of the resolution say that it would hurt consumers by presenting unjustifiable financial stresses.
Those supporting the resolution hope that both Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services will take note and amend the Affordable Care Act accordingly. Whether any amendments will be made is still unknown, but the regulators hold a great deal of sway in the government and may be able to pressure federal lawmakers to make changes to the federal health care law.