The Affordable Care Act may be here to stay, but changes to antitrust laws may affect how the healthcare insurance industry does business. The House of Representatives approved legislation that would eliminate the McCarran-Ferguson Act after 70 years. This legislation would allow for certain information sharing among insurers, including historic loss information, which would otherwise be out of line with antitrust laws. If passed through the Senate and signed off by the White House, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017 (HR 372), this antitrust exemption may impact premium pricing.
Should HR 372 pass resulting in the McCarran-Ferguson Act being eliminated, the insurance industry, which is already heavily regulated by the states, will be subject to further risk from an antitrust standpoint. With states already seeking to develop modified healthcare law through the ACA’s Section 1332 waivers, this exemption is yet another complication in providing healthcare insurance. Undoubtedly, this signals more heartburn to the healthcare insurance industry.
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