As 2010 drew to a close, state insurance commissioners adopted several key regulations their states can use as models for implementing health care reform and other regulatory issues.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) overwhelmingly approved the measures during a Dec. 16 special joint conference call of its Executive and Plenary committees.
"We look forward to building on this momentum in 2011," President and West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline said in a press statement.
Key NAIC measures passed were:
- The American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act, which gives states a framework for creating health insurance exchanges. The exchanges will serve as one-stop shops for consumers and small businesses to purchase health insurance starting in 2014.
- Model language to help states make their laws comply with early implementation provisions of federal health care reform.
- Standard definitions, forms and other measures to give more guidance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as it implements provisions of health care reform.
- An updated bulletin to ensure consumers are protected in the use of retained asset accounts for life insurance. Life insurance companies routinely place death benefits in retained asset accounts for beneficiaries. The accounts were thrust in the spotlight after national news media reported the large amounts of money insurance companies earn in investment gains off the accounts. This led to questions of whether disclosures to consumers were sufficient in explaining how the accounts worked.
- New tools for evaluating risks within insurance groups.
The association also adopted a $75.4 million operating budget for 2011.