Medicaid Plans Aren’t Properly Reporting MLR Data, OIG Finds

Many of the medical loss ratio (MLR) reports that Medicaid managed care organizations submit to states are incomplete, and much of that missing data concerns how much MCOs are spending on administrative services, according to a new report from the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The report, published in September, is part of a “body of work” that the watchdog agency initiated a few years ago that focuses on the implementation of the federal MLR requirements for Medicaid managed care ushered in via the 2016 update to MCO regulations, the HHS-OIG Office of Evaluation and Inspections tells AIS Health via email. The new report builds upon a data brief issued in August 2021 that “served as a first-of-its-kind nationwide landscape of Medicaid managed care MLRs,” and found that most states established a minimum MLR of 85% for their contracted MCOs. That means plans must spend at least 85% of their premium revenue on covered health care services and quality improvement activities.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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