In 2019, the Washington legislature enacted a bill requiring insurers on the state’s health insurance exchange to offer plans with standardized benefit designs, beginning in 2021. Colorado and Maryland are considering similar requirements. As these and other states consider the option of standardized health plans, they can benefit from the experiences of California, the District of Columbia (D.C.), Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, all of which require insurers to offer standardized benefit designs. This Expert Perspective outlines benefits and risks of plan standardization, and raises critical questions that states will need to consider, and offers a decision roadmap for states implementing a standardized benefit design requirement.
Analysis of HHS Final Rules On Reinsurance, Risk Corridors And Risk Adjustment
Wakely Consulting Group – Ross Winkelman, FSA, MAAA, Julie Peper, FSA, MAAA, Patrick Holland, Syed Mehmud, ASA, MAAA, James Woolman
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) much of the expanded coverage will be provided through health insurers offering products on the new health benefit exchanges (exchanges). By compensating issuers for the risks related to the individuals they enroll, provisions related to reinsurance, risk corridors and risk adjustment are designed to lessen the financial risk issuers and exchanges will face under the ACA. These programs will mitigate the impact of adverse selection and encourage issuers to compete based on cost and quality, rather than attracting the healthiest, lowest-cost enrollees. On March 16, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules, titled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment.” This research brief prepared by Wakely Consulting Group summarizes the final rules, highlights the changes from the proposed rules of July 11, 2011, and provides Wakely’s perspective on the implications. It is intended for policymakers and state officials familiar with the complexities underlying these issues.
Wakely Consulting Group has also prepared a Work Plan that serves as an outline for state officials on the decisions and actions necessary to implement the risk adjustment and reinsurance provisions of the ACA.