KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Denies Michigan’s Health Law Waiver Request

The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday denied a request from Michigan to waive the health law's limits on insurer profits and administrative costs. Michigan becomes the second state to have its request denied following a denial of Florida's waiver request earlier this month.

Bloomberg: U.S. Denies Michigan A Waiver From Health Law's Spending Rules
Federal regulators denied a request from Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, to waive new limits on profits and administrative costs for the state's health insurers. Michigan becomes the second-largest state to have such a request turned down by the Obama administration. The government rejected a similar request from Florida on Dec. 15 (Wayne, 12/19).

Modern Healthcare: CMS Rejects Michigan Bid For Adjustment On MLR Standard
Michigan will not receive an adjustment to the health care reform law's medical-loss-ratio standard that requires health plans to spend 80 cents of every premium dollar on medical care, a CMS official announced Monday. Earlier this year, the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation requested a change to the MLR standard so that issuers would be required to meet a threshold of 65 percent in 2011, 70 percent in 2012 and 75 percent in 2013 (Zigmond, 12/19).

The Hill: HHS Rejects Michigan's Request For MLR Adjustment
The Health and Human Services Department on Monday denied a sixth state's request for an adjustment to certain rules under the new health care law. HHS rejected Michigan's request for an adjustment to the law's medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements. The law requires insurance plans for individuals to meet an 80 percent MLR, meaning they must spend 80 percent of their premiums on medical costs. Only the remaining 20 percent can go toward profits and administrative costs (Baker, 12/19).

CQ HealthBeat: It's A 'No' For Michigan On Its MLR Application
Michigan on Monday became the sixth state to be denied its request for a waiver from the health care law's medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements when the federal Department of Health and Human Services said that the state's individual market should be able to meet the standard with no delay. Coming after the HHS decision on Florida's request announced last Thursday, that means just four applications remain outstanding — Wisconsin, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. Waivers have been approved in six states. Florida's waiver request also was denied (Norman, 12/19).

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