April 01, 2022

The Faegre Drinker Five: An NAIC Watchlist

Faegre Drinker’s insurance team will once again be well-represented at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Spring National Meeting from April 4-8 in Kansas City. As pandemic restrictions ease, we expect broad in-person engagement. Although a good deal of national business has been advancing through virtual meetings “in lieu of” the national meeting, we still expect a number of high-impact issues to progress or be discussed. We’ll be covering the broader NAIC agenda in depth in Kansas City, but here are five topics to watch:

All Things “H”: The new Innovation, Cybersecurity and Technology (H) Committee will meet for the first time, chaired by Commissioner Kathleen Birrane of Maryland. We expect a big focus on coordination of innovation, cyber, data privacy and technology workstreams. With its important mandate, seeing this group up and running at last will make for a packed room. Meanwhile, reporting to the H Committee will be the first Big Data and AI Working Group meeting. Rhode Island Superintendent Beth Dwyer will chair that group, and her new leadership could impact the direction of its work. Among other things, the working group will be evaluating how to implement the AI principles, which could include regulatory guidance or development of a model regulation.

Health and Data: There is no shortage of substantive items on the health front, but the most anticipated development is whether the Special Committee on Race and Insurance adopts the data collection principles the health-focused workstream drove under former Pennsylvania Commissioner Jess Altman’s leadership. If the committee adopts those principles, that will be the first work product it has developed and would therefore have the potential to influence other workstreams on that issue.

Long-Term Care Insurance: The LTCi EX Task Force will reconvene after a busy Fall National Meeting in San Diego, at which the task force adopted the multi-state actuarial (MSA) review framework for rate increase requests, as well as a model communication and checklist relating to reduced benefit options that might be provided alongside a rate increase. The co-chairs of the committee, Commissioners White and Conway, likely will want to keep that momentum moving forward as the task force moves from devising new protocols and procedures into implementing them. Our conversations with various industry participants indicate that the MSA process has yet to gain traction with the insurer community, and the meeting in Kansas City may center on how to encourage companies to utilize the process moving forward. In December, the task force also released a draft white paper on LTCi-related wellness programs — essentially applying managed care concepts in the LTCi marketplace. This is an area of focus for many LTCi insurers, and the industry will be watching closely to see if the task force provides any additional information about regulators’ views on such programs at the meeting in Kansas City.

Executive & Plenary Set to Consider Redesigned Climate Risk Disclosure Survey: Our team will be on the ground (still) in Kansas City as the Spring National Meeting concludes with the Joint Meeting of Executive (EX) Committee and Plenary. On March 21, the Climate and Resiliency (EX) Task Force advanced the redesigned survey, which was built off the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. Executive and Plenary would be up next to consider adoption of the redesigned survey if they act in Kansas City.

Financial Stability Next Steps: The joint meeting of the Financial Stability Task Force and Macroprudential Working Group may shed light on those groups’ 2022 mandate. First, the task force needs a new chair with the imminent retirement of Maine Superintendent Eric Cioppa. Second, the Macroprudential Risk Assessment Process is up for adoption. That tool for assessing risk is designed to be a key part of the NAIC’s implementation of macroprudential supervision and the activities-based approach. Third, a discussion is teed up on the Regulatory Considerations Applicable (But Not Exclusive) to Private Equity (PE) Owned Insurers. The task force and working group already adopted the considerations, but we will listen for updates on specific workstreams and on the role of the task force and working group going forward.

Those are among only five of the more active regulatory discussions. Please reach out to any of the authors of this alert with any questions or observations of your own. We hope to catch up with you in Kansas City to continue these important conversations (and just to say hello!).

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