Some of the crafters of insurance company accounting rules want to emphasize how unpredictable the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act risk management programs may be.

Members of two insurance accounting groups — the Emerging Accounting Issues Working Group and the Statutory Accounting Principles Working Group — have put warnings about PPACA "3 R's" risk program uncertainty in a new version of a draft of official PPACA accounting advice.

The working groups are part of the Financial Condition Committee at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The final version of the draft guidance — Interpretation 2013-04: Accounting for the Risk Sharing Provisions of the Affordable Care Act — could affect when carriers can put money from the PPACA risk management programs in their statutory income and capital totals.

The 3 R's programs — a temporary reinsurance program; a temporary "risk corridors" underwriting profit margin protection program; and a permanent risk adjustment program that's supposed to allocate cash from plans with low-risk enrollees to plans with high-risk enrollees — are supposed to help protect carriers from PPACA-related shifts in claim risk.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.