North Dakota is the latest state to request a reprieve on a requirement in the federal health reform law that insurers spend 80% of all individual members' premium dollars on medical care.
North Dakota seeks reprieve on medical-loss ratio rule
In a letter to HHS (PDF), North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm wrote he believes “there is strong evidence that North Dakota's individual insurance market will be destabilized” if the rule is enforced. This so-called medical loss ratio is expected to go into effect in July.
North Dakota asked for a three-year timeframe to implement the rule. This year, insurers in the state are required to spend 65% of individual member premiums on medical care, rising to 70% in 2012, 75% in 2013, and then to full compliance of 80% in 2014, according to the letter.
Nine insurers sell individual policies in North Dakota, of which the largest is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota. Six other states have made similar waiver requests. So far the HHS has approved one—for the state of Maine.
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