Wendell Potter on March 27th, 2010
Now that Congress has taken final action on its health care reform legislation, the reform debate has now shifted to, of all places, Denver.
The NAIC also will play a key role in making sure insurers spend at least 80% to 85% of what they collect in premiums on medical care for their policyholders as the new law requires. The amount insurers pay for care is called the medical-loss ratio (MLR).
This year the NAIC expanded the committee to include 29 consumer representatives from across the country. I was selected to be one of them, representing the Center for Media and Democracy. Like the commissioners, my colleagues and I are vastly outnumbered by the hundreds of insurance industry executives here at the Denver meeting, but at least we have seats at the table.
Wendell Potter on July 30th, 2010
The nation’s biggest insurers — not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders’ medical care — are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more than they do today to enrich insurance company shareholders and CEOs. Billions of dollars are at stake, which is why the insurers and their symbiotic allies are pulling out all the stops to gut a key part of the law that would require them to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar they take in for medical care.
Wendell Potter on October 21, 2010
Timing is everything, especially in politics and policy-making. This morning at the NAIC’s fall meeting in Orlando, the commissioners voted to reject all of the insurance industry-backed amendments to the regulations that had been developed in a thoughtful and transparent process at the NAIC committee level.
Today I can say that I am proud to have been one of 28 people selected by the NAIC to represent the interests of consumers this year. The NAIC’s vote this morning is clear evidence that the commissioners listened to us. We didn’t win all the arguments over the past six months — the work the NAIC approved this morning represents a compromise between the interests of consumers and the insurance industry — but we won many of the important ones. The recommendations that will go to HHS will make it easier for insurers to meet the MLR minimums, there’s no doubt about that, but they will also help to ensure that most of what we pay in premiums for health coverage will actually go to pay for medical care, not insurance company shareholders and executives. That is a big victory for consumers.
Stephanie Cutter on November 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM EST
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule called the “medical loss ratio” rule that will require health insurance companies to spend 80 to 85 percent of your health care insurance premiums on making you healthier instead of overhead costs like advertising or executive compensation. Like many other provisions in the Affordable Care Act, the medical loss ratio rule brings a whole new level of transparency to the health insurance marketplace and holds the insurers accountable.
Clap, clap, clap. Take a bow, Wendell. Well done.