Health insurance leaders will meet this week in Nashville at a time when its members are facing major challenges and changes.
The Institute 2015, held by America's Health Insurance Plans, will be the final one for longtime AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni, who is leaving in September to become CEO of EmblemHealth. The insurance trade group has yet to name a successor to Ignagni, who is widely regarded as one of the most powerful healthcare lobbyists in Washington.
The meeting comes as insurers await the U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, due this month. The ruling will decide the fate of premium subsidies for millions of people in up to 37 states using the federal exchange. If the subsidies are struck down, plans would face a huge disruption of their individual-market business and likely would seek big rate hikes. Plan officials undoubtedly will be discussing contingency measures.
Even before the ruling, major insurers in some states are asking for big rate increases—more than 40% in some cases—to cover what they say are higher-than-expected medical costs for beneficiaries.
Insurance exchanges will top the conference agenda, with a focus on private exchanges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association announced plans last month to launch a private exchange for retirees. Other tracks will address the growing power of consumers, and what to do with the vast troves of data the industry now captures.
The lineup of keynote speakers includes former President Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney. Healthcare leaders who will speak include Providence Health & Services CEO Dr. Rodney Hochman and Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak.