Issue 59
April 22, 2013

In This Issue

- A Quick Minute with SERFF Assistant Director Joy Morrison

- IIPRC Insight

- Say Hello to our Newest SERFFers!

- Make Plans to Attend the 14th Annual NAIC/NIPR E-Reg Conference!

- Monitoring User Access

- Efficient Message Center Management

- Users Preferences is Our Link to You

- Billing Transactions and Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Submissions; What You Need to Know

Users Preferences is Our Link to You

SERFF users, please take a few moments and make sure that the information listed on your User Preferences in SERFF is up-to-date. It is very important that your email address is correct, as this is what we use to send important notifications and other pertinent information such as training events.

To view your User Preferences, please login to SERFF and click on Settings. The Settings tab defaults to your User Preferences. Enter your information and click "Save" at the bottom. For more information, visit the user manual in Online Help.

SERFF Tips and Tricks

Do you have any tips you'd like to pass along to your fellow SERFFers? Send them to the SERFF Marketing Team at and you may be featured in a future issue of The Insider!

SERFF Help Desk

The SERFF Help Desk is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Central Time. Contact the Help Desk at 816-783-8990 or

If you have any article suggestions or if there is anything you'd like to learn more about, please send an e-mail to

Billing Transactions and Qualified Health Plan (QHP) Submissions; What You Need to Know

A question that we often receive on the Help Desk is, what are the transaction costs for a QHP submission in SERFF?

A SERFF transaction is the submission of one filing to one state on behalf of one company. For QHP submissions, SERFF assesses a transaction fee per plan per company on a binder. Therefore, if a company is a Pay as You Go customer, the cost would be $15 per plan. Many Pay as You Go customers are opting to purchase filing blocks due to the large number of plans being submitted. If you would like to purchase a filing block or have any questions about payment transactions, please contact the SERFF implementation team at (816) 783-8787.

Louisiana Insurers' Conference

Make plans to attend the Louisiana Insurers' Conference in Baton Rouge, LA on June 21, 2013.

To learn more or to register, click here!.


If you have any article suggestions or if there is anything you'd like to learn more about, please send an e-mail to

A Quick Minute with SERFF Assistant Director Joy Morrison

SERFF v6.0 was released Thursday evening, March 28th and with it came some major changes to SERFF. This version contains a block of functionality designed to assist state regulators and health insurance issuers with Plan Management responsibilities and plan submissions for the Health Insurance Exchanges as defined by the Affordable Care Act.

If you're a Life or Property/Casualty filer, the only change you'll notice is that the Message Center has been moved to its own tab. But if you're a Health filer, it's a whole new world! The SERFF team has worked nearly 18 months to deliver the new functionality - gathering requirements, creating designs, developing and testing. Quickly on the heels of that work came the training for state and industry users and the implementation of the new state submission requirements.

As of this writing, usage of the SERFF Plan Management functionality has been light, but it is expected to increase sharply in the coming weeks as the submission windows for the 2014 plan year are narrow and there are many plans to be filed. The Help Desk is going to be busy as users, both state and industry, try to familiarize themselves with the new functionality. We are anxious to see the new software in use!

We have much more work to do to complete the integration between state and federal systems, so you'll see one or, more likely, two releases before the fall. It is the support of our user community that pushed SERFF to the forefront as a viable, perhaps even crucial, option for the submission and review of qualifying health plans for use on the state or federal exchanges. We appreciate your faith in this product and the NAIC teams that maintain it and we are committed to providing you with a robust and reliable solution.


Joy Morrison
Assistant Director, SERFF/OPTins

IIPRC Insight

The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (IIPRC) had a very productive 2012, achieving several firsts and surpassing previous performance. The first uniform standards were developed and adopted for term life products for employer groups, all of which became effective in January 2013. Additional group life uniform standards are under development.

The number of companies registering and filing with the IIPRC increased. The additional resources put into place, including the additional tools for filers and reviewers, allowed the IIPRC to reduce filing review times despite the increased volume. IIPRC review time of these product filings is, on average, less than 25 days.

The IIPRC helped maintain this performance benchmark due to its outreach, including conducting several series of webinars. The IIPRC plans to continue to offer the webinars for insurance company users and regulators. Sessions include "Mix and Match" and "Tips and Tools," as well as detailed sessions for each of the product lines and actuarial elements. The continued outreach helps keep the IIPRC community informed and more apt to prepare and submit compliant product filings.

With an IIPRC approval, companies are able to roll out standard product forms throughout their distribution network in 41 compacting states for individual life, annuity and disability income products, and in 37 compacting states for individual long-term care insurance products.

Say Hello to our Newest SERFFers!

The SERFF team recently welcomed three new employees to the SERFF Team: Nicholas Fosgate, Derek Fisher and Evan Berry.

Nicholas Fosgate joined the SERFF team in February as the new Product Support Supervisor. Before joining the SERFF team, Nicholas managed a technical support department for a company in the aviation industry. Nicholas has also served as a military honor guard member. Outside of the SERFF team Nicholas enjoys spending time with his family; he has three children under the age of five.

Derek Fisher joined the SERFF team in February as a Software Quality Engineer II. Before starting this new position, Derek worked as a consultant on the SERFF team. Outside of SERFF and spending time with his family, Derek likes to spend time with friends in a Thursday night bowling league.

Our newest Product Support Intern, Evan Berry joined the SERFF team in February. Evan is attending Johnson County Community College and will graduate in May 2014 with a degree in Information Technology - Network Administration. In Evan's spare time, he snowboards and plays multiple instruments. He's even played a concert for over 10,000 people!

Welcome to the team, Nicholas, Derek, and Evan!

Make Plans to Attend the 14th Annual NAIC/NIPR E-Reg Conference!

If you haven't already done so, make plans to attend the 14th annual NAIC/NIPR E-Reg Conference. This year, there is something for everyone.

First time attendees and returning attendees, please plan to attend the Welcome to the Rate and Form Track: Informational and Networking Session on Monday, May 6th at 9am. The SERFF team will walk you through a quick synopsis of the upcoming sessions, past attendees will share their E-Reg experiences and attendees will play a quick networking game.

There will be special sessions focusing on health care reform. The conference will feature sessions such as The Mechanics of the ACA and Collaboration, which will discuss the company and state perspectives on the monitoring and enforcement of the ACA by state insurance regulators. For SERFF filers, the Building Your Tomorrow, Today: SERFF Plan Management session will allow you to view the new Plan Management functionality and get a glimpse of what's to come in SERFF. For all attendees, SERFF will offer Bracing for Change: Health Care Reform Burning Questions, a session that will explain how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects you as a health care consumer. Additionally, a panel of state reviewers will discuss the implications of the ACA on rate and form review processes. This is your opportunity to ask your burning questions to health care experts.

Life and health filers, the IIPRC will present two sessions at E-Reg. IIPRC Market Regulation: Taking Shape will explore how the IIPRC is changing the face of market regulation and in the Flexible by Design: IIPRC Mix and Match session, the IIPRC will explain the use of mix-and-match in the SERFF filing process.

Property and Casualty filers, we didn't forget about you. There are a number of P&C sessions available, which will focus on topics such as terrorism risk and self-driving cars. In the Planning for the Future: Terrorism Risk and Insurance session, you will learn how the completion of the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act affects state insurance regulators in the rates and forms review area. Self-driving cars aren't only in sci-fi movies. In the Self-Driving Cars: What You Need to Know session, you will learn the latest news and how this new technology will affect you as an insurer.

Additionally, there are a number of SERFF-specific sessions. In the Plan the Work: SERFF Filing Flow Tutorial, an industry filer and a state reviewer will walk you through the filing process from their points of view. SERFF is Not Just for Rate and Form Filings and in this session, you will learn how SERFF is being used beyond the traditional rate and form filings. Do you have questions about how public access and SERFF work together? E-Reg is the place to find your answers. The SERFF and Public Access: A Look into the Future session will examine the changes that have shaped how regulators satisfy these needs - from paper to electronic, client-server to Web-based, and beyond.

This is expected to be the best E-Reg ever. We hope to see you there!

Monitoring User Access

The SERFF Help Desk takes security seriously! In addition to standard security practices involving password maintenance, the states and companies are encouraged to regularly check the list of users with access to their SERFF instance and ensure they have the proper roles. For a quick list of users with filing/review privileges, simply open a filing and click on the "Add Authors" (industry) or "Assign Reviewers" (state) button.

If this list shows a user who no longer needs access, users with the User Admin Request User role can click on the Settings tab and then click the "Request User Deactivate" link to initiate a request to the Help Desk. User deactivations are generally completed within one hour.

Users with the User Admin role can also review the roles assigned to each user. Click on the "Request User Update" link on the Settings tab and select the person you want to check from the user dropdown menu. The roles they currently have will be checked. If you need to add or remove any roles, select or deselect the appropriate roles and click "Submit." The SERFF Help Desk will update the user, typically within 24 hours.

If you do not see the links on the Settings tab, you are not authorized to manage user access. State and industry accounts with more than 15 users can contact the SERFF Help Desk at (816) 783-8990 or to request a list of active users and their roles.

Efficient Message Center Management

Managing your SERFF Message Center can make filing submission and review more efficient in three easy steps. In addition to the already robust functionality, with recent enhancements for managers in SERFF, the Message Center has become even more powerful than it was in the past.

The first step to an efficient Message Center is knowing how to use it. Messages are not intended to be kept as a long term record of the actions on a filing. All of the information included in messages is stored somewhere within the filing. Most actions are recorded within the "View Filing Log" located in the upper-right corner of your SERFF filings, with the remainder on the Filing Correspondence tab. The best practice for SERFF messages is to read them and once action has been taken on them, remove them. This allows you to efficiently see new messages when they come in.

The second step to an efficient Message Center is to set up your Message Suppression. Message Suppression is set up at the user level, so as an individual user you can choose which notifications to receive. This is maintained under the Settings area for each user. If you have a Manager role, you will also have access to choose which individual's filings you wish to receive messages.

The third step to an efficient Message Center is being able to effectively use the Advanced Search. This might not seem related to Message Center maintenance, but it gives you the comfort of knowing you'll be able to find filings based on a wide variety of criteria without saving the message. You can search by several different criteria to find your filings. The SERFF Help Desk can help you create searches if you are unsure of what criteria to use.

In short - keep your Message Center clean! It makes it easier for you to get a quick view of new actions on your filings!

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S.