On Dec. 22,  the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1418S. 350 (the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act) by unanimous consent. NADP, others in the insurance industry, and state regulators at NCOIL and National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have fought strongly against the measure for more than 10 years and, as the relief bill began to take shape, industry advocates were very active in communicating to Congress that repealing the McCarran Ferguson Act’s antitrust exemption for insurers would ignore already existing State antitrust protections, reduce competition, and increase costs for consumers. Ultimately, despite the lack of consideration by the full Senate and the industry’s advocacy, the measure passed on the Senate floor shortly before Congress adjourned. The ADA and other health care organizations, such as the American Hospital Association were strongly supportive of the repeal. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.

While the repeal of the exemption may not expose carriers to additional risk or regulation given dental carriers generally do not engage in those activities governed by McCarran, NADP’s primary concern has and will be potential costly litigation prompted by and in the immediate aftermath of repeal to test any new legal precedent, the costs of which could be borne by employers and enrollees via increased premium. NADP and partners across the insurance industry will continue to assess these implications.


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