SCC seeks public input on proposed rules governing long-term care insurance

healthcareThe State Corporation Commission (SCC) is proposing revisions to the rules governing long-term care insurance following an extensive Bureau of Insurance study of the long-term care insurance market in Virginia and across the nation. The SCC had directed the Bureau to conduct such a review which included an analysis of the premium rate increases that have occurred on long-term care insurance policies in recent years.

The proposed rule revisions serve to address some of the problems both consumers and insurers have encountered with long-term care insurance. A recent Bureau report noted that long-term care premium rate increases are largely the result of insurers’ failure to adequately anticipate future claim costs given the lack of credible experience data that was available when they originally designed and priced the products. The increases have been a financial hardship on policyholders who are faced with difficult choices such as reducing their benefits, if given the option, or allowing their coverage to lapse.

While the proposed revisions are not expected to eliminate premium increases in the future, the revised rules should create a regulatory framework under which the rate review process will be strengthened. As proposed, insurers would be required to continuously monitor market experience and insurers would undergo a more deliberate review and justification of any planned premium adjustments. The rule revisions would also provide consumers greater disclosure regarding premium rate practices and enhance notices of any rate adjustments.

The proposed rules, in part, incorporate recent revisions of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model regulation regarding long-term care premium rate increases.

Any person desiring to comment or request a hearing on the proposed rules should do so by December 1, 2014. Comments can be submitted in writing or electronically via the SCC web site.

On-line submissions can be done by following the instructions at www.scc.virginia.gov/case. Simply click on the comment button for case number INS-2013-00238. Written comments can be sent to the Document Control Center, P. O. Box 2118, Richmond, VA 23218. All correspondence must refer to case number INS-2013-00238.

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