….the law requires all plans to meet the 80% to 85% threshold (also known as the “medical loss ratio”). And that’s a problem for “mini-med” plans such as the ones offered by McDonald’s, which typically have high administrative costs — a consequence of insuring businesses with high employee turnover.
The threshold is also problematic for insurers that have a comparatively small number of customers, like Principal, which has sold fewer than 1 million health policies. The more customers an insurer has, the easier it will be to meet the threshold — its fixed administrative costs can be spread across more people.
McDonald’s is likely to obtain a waiver from the feds that will allow it to continue its current insurance plan, and another insurer (United Healthcare) has agreed to take over Principal’s customers after it exits the business. Still, the reports raise the question of why the feds should be setting minimum medical loss ratios in the first place.
After all, in a free-market system, profits should be limited by competition, not by regulation.