ATLANTA-Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has announced his plan to request a waiver from the federally imposed Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) standard for 2011, 2012 and 2013 found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In his letter of transmittal requesting the waiver to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Hudgens said, “Although I believe that ACA is unconstitutional and fully support the various legal challenges to its constitutionality, it is my duty as Commissioner to do everything possible to protect the interests of Georgia citizens and the viability of the Georgia insurance market.”
According to Hudgens, the purpose of Georgia’s request for an MLR waiver is three-fold. First, we should do no harm to Georgians with health issues who are currently insured in the individual market. For these individuals it is imperative that their current insurer remain in the Georgia individual health market.
Second, the phase-in period will give insurers time to adjust business models to compete in the proposed federal system should it be deemed constitutional.
Third, the wavier will help preserve consumer access to agents or brokers who explain and facilitate the purchase of individual health policies.
“I am concerned that the Obama Administration has a fundamental distrust of the role that brokers and agents play in the orderly delivery of health insurance,” Hudgens said.