The holidays for many of us meant wrapping up year-end business, while also trying to spend time with loved ones. Before 2019 comes to an end, I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you for what's been a very productive and accomplished year for the NAIC!
Fall National Meeting
This year's Fall National Meeting in Austin, TX was a success! With nearly 100 official meetings in five days, we continue to make progress on a number of our priorities. The NAIC leadership and staff are committed to achieving real, meaningful progress on key initiatives we set at the beginning of the year.
During the meeting:
- We approved the 2020 budget. It's based on $114.5 million in operating revenues and operating expenses of $124.5 million.
- Bermuda, Japan and Switzerland were approved as Reciprocal Jurisdictions for purposes of the revised Credit for Reinsurance Model Law and Regulation, and the NAIC took additional steps to implement the reinsurance collateral provisions of the US-EU/UK Covered Agreements.
- The NAIC Executive Committee approved a Request for Model Law Development related to the Group Capital Calculation. The Executive Committee also adopted a MLR for rebating from the Innovation and Technology Task Force.
- The NAIC's 3-year strategic plan, State Ahead, is in its second year and we've shown tremendous progress on implementing many of the projects that were originally identified. To date, there are 93 projects overall, 39 completed projects while work on 37 projects is ongoing. Seventeen more projects are scheduled to begin in 2020.
- The Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee reviewed comments received on the Nov. 5 draft revisions to the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275). As of Dec. 30, the Committee passed the annuity sales standard on to the NAIC Executive Committee and Plenary. The Plenary could take the final vote on the annuity rule changes early in 2020.
- The Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee heard an update from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) on its recent regulatory activities.
- A decision was made to create a new Mental Health Parity Working Group to assist states in implementation of the Federal mental health parity law and enhance discussions with Federal agencies.
- The Property and Casualty (C) Committee adopted a new white paper on cannabis and a claims guide that provides information on steps to take following a disaster.
- The Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs (D) Committee adopted a Workers’ Compensation Standardized Data Request, which will be incorporated into the NAIC Market Regulation Handbook for the states to voluntarily use to determine if a company follows appropriate procedures with respect to the issuance and/or termination of worker compensation policies.
- The Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation (F) Committee voted to award continued accreditation to state insurance departments of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The committee also voted to accredit the U.S. Virgin Islands for the first time.
- The International Insurance Relations (G) Committee adopted the report of the ComFrame Development and Analysis (G) Working Group, which met prior to the Committee to discuss next steps for implementation of the Common Framework for the Supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups (ComFrame) and the IAIS monitoring period for its Insurance Capital Standard (ICS) and to hear an update on the aggregation method process underway at the IAIS.
NAIC Comments on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision on Affordable Care Act
After the Fall National Meeting, the U.S. Courts and Congress were busy wrapping up their session and business.
On December 18, in Texas v. U.S., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a 2-1 ruling and remanded the case for further consideration on the severability issue.
With this decision, the litigation around the Affordable Care Act continues. The NAIC and our members remain committed to protecting consumers. Policyholders can be assured that current plans and those purchased for 2020 are and will be in force through the remainder of the plan year.
NAIC Applauds Congress on End-of-Year Spending Package
Congress has taken action on passing some of our priorities in its year-end spending package. Due in part to our advocacy, the U.S. state-based system of regulation remains secure. Click here to review some of the NAIC priorities that were approved in the spending bill.
A Heartfelt Thanks
This year we faced several challenges and tough issues and I wouldn't have been able to handle them all without the guidance and support from our members and the NAIC and Maine Insurance Department staffs. Together we have tackled critical domestic and international priorities and made continued progress on our strategic plan, State Ahead, positioning ourselves to meet the needs of insurance markets of the future.
I am extremely grateful for all that you've done to make 2019 a successful year for me and the NAIC!