News & Thought Leadership from Sulloway & Hollis

October 28, 2020

Rob Whitney Presents at Boston Bar Association Regarding Reinsurance Health Care

Sulloway attorney Rob Whitney recently made a presentation at the Boston Bar Association (“BBA”) entitled: “Using Reinsurance to Lower Premiums for Health Insurance: Could it Work in Massachusetts?” His presentation was sponsored by the BBA’s Financial Services Section, Insurance and Tort Litigation Section, and Insurance Law Section.

Using Reinsurance to Lower Premiums for Health Insurance: Could it Work Here in Massachusetts?

Thursday, September 26, 2019 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Boston Bar Association – 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


About 4 million working-age people have lost insurance coverage since 2016, and the uninsured rates among lower-income adults rose from 20.9 percent in 2016 to 25.7 percent in March 2018. Recent actions by Congress and the Trump administration are likely the cause of at least some of this decline in coverage and are likely to continue to disrupt Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) marketplaces in 2019, leading to higher premiums for individuals and families. One way to mitigate the adverse effects of these recent policies and events might be by creating a new reinsurance program to cover the risks being assumed by health insurers. A federal reinsurance program was a critical feature of ACA marketplaces in their first three years of their existence, offering insurers some protection against unexpectedly high claims through the mechanism of a federal reinsurance program, which was designed to protect health insurers: by reducing uncertainty and thereby allowing carriers be better able to set rates; and by limiting the carriers’ exposure to very high, unpredictable medical expenses incurred by their members by covering some of those expenses when they exceed a certain threshold. Since the lapse of the federal reinsurance program in 2016, several states have created their own reinsurance programs, and have successfully reduced health insurance premiums. Such a reinsurance program also could be created here in Massachusetts to help reduce health insurance premiums for those policies sold through the Health Connector.

About the Speaker: Robert A. Whitney is a Boston-based partner with the law firm Sulloway & Hollis, in its Insurance Coverage and Reinsurance Practice Group. With more than 20 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry, Mr. Whitney is a former Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, and was involved in the implementation of the ACA reforms in Massachusetts.