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Explaining Health Care Reform: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

This fact sheet explains the Medical Loss Ratio requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The MLR provision limits the portion of premium dollars health insurers may spend on administration, marketing, and profits. Under health care reform, health insurers must publicly report the portion of premium dollars spent on health care and quality improvement and other activities in each state they operate. Insurers failing to meet the applicable standard must pay rebates to consumers and businesses.

Data Note: 2020 Medical Loss Ratio Rebates

Private insurance companies expect to pay a record of $2.7 billion in rebates to consumers in 2020 due to excessive premiums in recent years – nearly double last year’s then-record total.

Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

Three key private health insurance markets — Medicare Advantage, the individual market and the fully-insured group market — appear to be financially healthy and attractive to insurers. The private Medicare Advantage market generates significantly larger gross margins per person than the individual market or fully-insured market. The future of these markets has become a focus for policymakers amid the debate over Medicare for All.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2012

This poll, conducted as the GOP prepares for its national convention, finds that the Affordable Care Act is not the top health care priority among Republicans. While jobs are still the number one issue for Republicans, when asked about the health care issues that will impact their vote this fall,…

Data Note: 2019 Medical Loss Ratio Rebates

We estimate insurers will be issuing a total of at least $1.3 billion in MLR rebates across all markets – exceeding the previous record high of $1.1 billion in 2012, due in part to the record profits insurers made in 2018. The amount varies by market, with insurers reporting at least $743 million in the individual market, $250 million in the small group market, and $284 million in the large group market.

Awaiting New Medicaid Managed Care Rules: Key Issues to Watch

More than half of all Medicaid beneficiaries now receive their services in risk-based managed care plans, and states’ use of managed care is expanding. States operate their own Medicaid managed care programs within federal rules and requirements. The federal regulations were last updated in 2002 and a new proposed rule is expected in Spring 2015. This brief identifies key issues in the regulation and discusses how CMS might address them.

Improving the Financial Accountability of Nursing Facilities

This report examines nursing facility expenditures to assess relative spending increases in areas such as nursing services, administrative costs, and profits. Using California as a case study, it explores reimbursement by cost category and a standard medical loss ratio (MLR) as potential policy options to improve nursing facility financial accountability and care quality.

Insurance Brokers and the Medical Loss Ratio

In a close vote, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently adopted a resolution urging Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exempt insurance broker and agent compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements or otherwise adjust the requirements to ease their effect. HHS last…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.