While the term “medical-loss ratio” may be health care jargon to consumers, they’re about to find out what it means in the form of a check from their insurance company next week. This “MLR” provision of the federal health care overhaul requires insurance companies to spend a minimum of 80 percent of their revenue (85 percent for large groups) on health care costs, as opposed to marketing, administrative costs or other non-medical fees.
Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis