Sunday, February 6, 2011

Issues to Watch

Several interesting items this past week point to two issues that will be worth following throughout the year: whether the new federal health care law is whittled away bit by bit; and just how much traction U.S. insurers will have in making their voices heard before insurance contract accounting changes are put in place later this year.

On the first point, this past week Senate leaders passed a repeal of the 1099 provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Insurers including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), Des Plaines, Ill., contend that a repeal of the 1099 tax-reporting provision will remove a “crushing provision” for insurers.

Additionally, press reports describe how Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., talked about how a requirement that individuals have health insurance needs to be changed. The remarks were made during a “Day on the Hill” event by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., according to press reports.

On the latter issue, U.S. insurers are waiting to see whether the International Accounting Standards Board, London, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board, Norwalk, Conn., will listen to their concerns when they discuss the insurance contracts paper during the mid-February joint IASB/FASB meeting and beyond. The discussions are a prelude to finalizing the IASB’s exposure draft and the FASB’s discussion paper.

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