This is not a political post, I promise. But it is a post to help everyone understand the potential impact of the recent election on insurance. Voters demanded change…and it’s coming. Based on Trump’s declared plans, the fact that Republicans will own a legislative majority, and the current national realities, Joel Wood, The Council’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, predicts the following:
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) : The most likely revisions will include:
- the ability to purchase insurance across state borders
- tax credits issued to help individuals purchase health insurance
- enhancement of Health Savings Accounts
- medical malpractice reform
- the addition of association health plans
- aversion to suggested calls to tax high income individuals with “Cadillac” employer-based health coverage
During the transition period to a new program, the 17 million Americans currently receiving their insurance through the ACA will be allowed to keep their coverage through 2017. Expect some transition to high-risk pools as well.
- The federal flood insurance program will be reauthorized, but not before debate over the inclusion of higher federal borrowing limits, as many argue that upping limits threatens actuarial soundness. Interestingly, debate about flood insurance tends to divide more by coastal/non-coastal representative lines than by party lines.
- The insurance industry will seek changes in the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act and its effect on international commercial property/casualty placements. As Wood states, “We feel strongly that non-cash-value p/c policies are not a means through which Americans can evade income taxation, but the IRS has imposed the burdens on our industry sector nonetheless. Removing these onerous requirements will remain a major priority in 2017.”
- There will be renewed calls to promptly approve the proposed board of directors for the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB), following months of delay.
- Although industry representatives voice support for the state-based insurance regulatory systems, there also remain calls to protect the authority of the Federal Insurance Office to ensure that as a nation, we speak with one voice in negotiations moving forward. Debate on the proper state/federal balance of industry oversight will continue.
- The issue of cyber insurance will gain in importance, with likely opportunity to establish a single national standard for breach notification as early as 2017.
As happens following every national election and shift in power, change will be the constant. At MJ, we will continue to monitor and serve as a resource for understanding new insurance legislation and regulation. Should you read about any insurance issues that cause you concern or simply lead to more questions, please feel free to contact anyone at MJ for more insight and advice. We’re here to help you navigate despite any coming turns in the road ahead!