N.C. insurance agencies to be taken off sale after federal health overhaul
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is seeking the approval of the Trump administration to take over the reinsurance and reinsurance business in North Carolina, which has the second-highest rate of uninsured Americans in the nation.
In a statement, the NAC’s president and CEO, David Leopold, called the change in direction a “necessary move to address rising insurance premiums in the state and protect our state from the negative impacts of Obamacare.”
“This is a critical time for North Carolina because of the state’s historic economic growth, high job creation and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the state,” Leopled said in the statement.
“Our industry needs this additional support to stay competitive and help us protect North Carolina from future premium increases.”
The NAIC is not the only insurance industry that has been taking aim at the ACA, however.
A consortium of nine insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and American Health Benefit Association, filed suit last month against the Trump Administration to block the Medicaid expansion in the ACA that allows North Carolinians to receive coverage under the healthcare program.
In that lawsuit, the insurers cited provisions in the federal law that limit how much insurance companies can charge their members.
Leoplaid said the NAIC wants to make sure the ACA isn’t repealed.
“I hope the administration will allow the NAICS to take the reins,” Leopsaid.
The NAICS, the association’s main lobbying group, has been urging the Trump White House to continue the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which is expected to bring in $8.8 billion to $9.2 billion a year by 2024.
The ACA is expected be fully implemented by 2020.
Leopold said the White House is not likely to make a decision on the NAICES bid until the end of the month, although he said he hopes the NAIAS will be granted a waiver.
The NAICS has previously filed petitions with the Justice Department to help enforce the ACA and expand Medicaid, but the White Senate has so far declined to grant such a request.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the NAIA, said in a statement that the NAI would remain in place until it receives the Whitehouse’s final determination on the matter.
“The NAI will continue to work with the WhiteHouse and the Administration on ways to provide greater access to insurance coverage for our members, particularly in rural communities, where the majority of uninsured North Carolins reside,” the statement said.