Insurers praised most aspects of a final version of the federal MLR regulation, while a patients' group blasted it for continuing to allow so-called mini-med policies.
Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, hailed the final version of a rule first issued in December 2010 for recognizing some of the costs associated with modernizing the medical claims coding system “as activities that improve healthcare quality.”
“We believe health plans' programs to prevent and combat healthcare fraud should be given similar consideration and that additional steps should be taken to ensure that consumers and small employers do not lose access to the guidance of a trusted health benefits adviser between now and 2014,” Ignagni said in a written statement.
Separately, Consumers Union praised several components of the rules but blasted it for continuing to allow exemptions for so-called mini-med health plans, which generally provide only catastrophic injury coverage.
“Today's announcement by HHS recognizes the need for mini-med plans to start increasing value for policyholders by requiring them to phase-in the new MLR standard,” Sondra Roberto, staff attorney for Consumer Union, said in a written statement. “But as long as these plans continue, policyholders may be left with unexpected medical debt in the event of a major illness.”