Small-Group Session

Issues in Health Insurance Reform: Actuarial Equivalence
April 7, 2009


Sally Coberly, PhD


This small-group meeting featured a tutorial on actuarial equivalence and its use in comparing the value of benefit packages and health plans. The factors that are used in calculating actuarial equivalence, as well as those that are typically omitted from the calculation, were highlighted. The limits of actuarial equivalence in helping consumers choose plans was discussed. The application of actuarial equivalence in the comparison of alternative plans to the standard benefit in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program was also reviewed.


Cori E. Uccello, FSA, MAAA, Senior Health Fellow, American Academy of Actuaries

Slides from the presentation by Ms. Uccello are available for download. Her biography is also available.

Related Materials

See also "Setting and Valuing Health Insurance Benefits" (Chris L. Peterson, Congressional Research Service, order code R40491, April 6, 2009; available to congressional staff at and "Critical Issue in Health Reform: Actuarial Equivalence" (American Academy of Actuaries, May 2009).

Other recent meetings in the Forum's series on health insurance reform include sessions on underwriting, rating, and regulation in the individual market (December 3, 2008); rating rules in the individual market, part II (February 19, 2009); health insurance exchanges (March 6, 2009); risk adjustment and rating in the small-group market (March 20, 2009); health insurance exchanges, part II (April 15, 2009); and federal/state regulatory roles, subsidy administration (May 8, 2009).

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