The legislation is H.R. 1063. It may
win support in Congress—if the industry
successfully argues that the existing rules
are more costly than beneficial.
Even though the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services supports the current
regulation, the Obama administration
has promised to act to reduce regulatory
burdens on businesses as a means of
spurring job creation.
5. STAY TUNED RE:
THE MLR EXEMPTION FOR AGENTS
Insurance agents are pushing for
legislation that would exempt healthcare-premium commissions from the medical-loss-ratio (MLR) provision of the
Such legislation has strong support in
the House and in the Senate as well.
But, given the Senate process, strong
public support for such legislation doesn’t
mean it will survive the many procedural
hurdles that Senate members can use to
6. FIGHT THE SURPLUS-LINES BATTLE
IN THE STATES
Some support exists for amending the
Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform
Act, which went into effect July 21, to
give states more time to adopt a uniform
allocation formula for surplus premiums.
But my reading of the tea leaves is that
Congress is unlikely to step in; it wants the
industry to fight this battle in the states.
Few congressmen want to put their limited
political capital on the line by seeking to
intervene in this contentious issue.
7. ACCEPT THAT AN OPTIONAL
FEDERAL CHARTER IS DOOMED
While some insurers are still pushing for
an optional federal charter for insurers,
there appears to be no realistic chance that
legislation pushing this proposal will even
be introduced in this Congress.
Such legislation faces strong
opposition from a considerable portion
of Congress—as well as the electorate—
for less, not more federal government,
and this proposal flies in the face of that
8. RELAX RE: LIMITING SCOPE
OF FEDERAL INSURANCE OFFICE
Opponents of federal regulation are
keeping a close eye on the activities of
the new Federal Insurance Office (FIO)
to ensure there is no so-called “mission
creep” or efforts to expand its authority.
But, given the fact that FIO is just
getting on its feet and appears to be
moving aggressively to interface with the
components of existing state governance,
this may be paranoia.
FIO is currently headed by a former
state regulator, Michael McRaith of
Illinois, and just setting up the office to
accomplish the goals already supported
by the clear language of the legislation
establishing it will take time.
Getting into position to advise the
FSOC members on how insurance
companies operate will take time, and FIO
is just starting to staff up. NU
September 5, 2011 | National Underwriter Property & Casualty | 25