oversight

Audit of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Oversight of the Rate Monitoring and Procurement Process of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

Published by the Office of Personnel Management, Office of Inspector General on 2018-04-05.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

U.S. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
   OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
            OFFICE OF AUDITS




Audit of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Oversight
of the Rate Monitoring and Procurement Process of the Federal
             Long Term Care Insurance Program
                 Report Number 4A-HI-00-17-025
                          April 5, 2018
              EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
     Audit of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Oversight of the Rate Monitoring
        and Procurement Process of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025                                                                                            April 5, 2018


Why Did We Conduct the Audit?                              What Did We Find?

We conducted this audit due to the                         We did not identify any issues for reporting related to OPM’s
significant premium increases in the                       oversight of the procurement and rate monitoring processes of the
Federal Long Term Care Insurance                           FLTCIP.
Program (FLTCIP) that occurred at the
inception of the third contract period                     However, we did identify an area of potential program
(2016) and the concerns expressed by                       improvement related to FLTCIP contingency planning.
Federal employees with this increase.                      Specifically, we determined that OPM has no formal contingency
                                                           plan to address the risks of future premium increases and industry
                                                           changes that have occurred related to the FLTCIP.
What Did We Audit?

The Office of the Inspector General
has completed a performance audit of
the U.S. Office of Personnel
Management’s (OPM) oversight of the
FLTCIP. Specifically, we reviewed
OPM’s procurement and rate
monitoring processes for the FLTCIP.
We performed our audit site visit from
May 15 through 26, 2017, in
Washington, D.C. We completed
additional audit work at our offices
located in Washington, D.C. and
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.




 _______________________
 Michael R. Esser
 Assistant Inspector General
 for Audits
                                                                        i
        This report is non-public and should not be furt
                       information that may be pr
                   ABBREVIATIONS

FLTCIP         Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program
John Hancock   John Hancock Life and Health Insurance Company
LTCP           Long Term Care Partners
OIG            Office of the Inspector General
OPM            U.S. Office of Personnel Management




                                  ii
IV. MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
          TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                        Page
         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ......................................................................................... i

         ABBREVIATIONS ..................................................................................................... ii 


  I.     BACKGROUND ..........................................................................................................1 


  II.    OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY ..................................................3

  III.   AUDIT RESULTS .......................................................................................................6

         A. PROCUREMENT PROCESS REVIEW .................................................................6

         B. RATE MONITORING PROCESS REVIEW .........................................................6

         C. PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT AREA....................................................................7

              1. Contingency Planning........................................................................................7

         APPENDIX (OPM’s Response to the Draft Report, dated March 15, 2018)


         REPORT FRAUD, WASTE, AND MISMANAGEMENT

IV. MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS
            I. BACKGROUND
                       TO THIS REPORT
This report details the results of our audit of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM)
Oversight of the Rate Monitoring and Procurement Process of the Federal Long Term Care
Insurance Program (FLTCIP). The audit was performed by OPM’s Office of the Inspector
General (OIG), as authorized by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.

The FLTCIP was established by the Long Term Care Security Act (Public Law 106-265), which
was signed by the President on September 19, 2000. The Act directed OPM to develop and
administer a long term care insurance program for Federal employees and annuitants, current and
retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives.

In December 2001, OPM awarded a seven-year contract to Long Term Care Partners (LTCP) to
offer long term care insurance coverage to eligible participants. A new contract was awarded to
John Hancock Life and Health Insurance Company (John Hancock) upon the expiration of the
original contract. On October 1, 2009, John Hancock became the sole insurer and LTCP became
a wholly-owned subsidiary of John Hancock. LTCP, with OPM oversight, is responsible for all
administrative functions of the program, including marketing and enrollment, underwriting,
policy issuance, premium billing and collection, and claims administration.

In April 2016, OPM again awarded the long term care insurance contract to John Hancock.
During the procurement process for this contract, John Hancock was the only provider to submit
a bid. OPM’s current contract with John Hancock is set to expire on April 30, 2023. According
to section I.3 of the contract, this is to be a fixed-price contract with prospective price
redetermination. The contract is for a base period of seven years.

OPM’s Federal Employee Insurance Operations, Individual Benefits and Life group has overall
responsibility for administering the FLTCIP, including the publication of program regulations
and agency guidelines, and also the following:

      Maintaining the OPM FLTCIP website;

      Liaison with Federal agencies and uniformed services;

      Facilitate the promotion of the FLTCIP as program sponsor;

      Be responsive on a timely basis to LTCP’s requests for information and assistance;




                                               1                    Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
   	 Perform, as provided by the Long Term Care Security Act, functions typically associated
      with insurance commissions such as the review and approval of rates, forms, and
      marketing materials; and

   	 Request any re-determinations, if necessary, from the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant
      to 26 U.S.C. 7702B(g)(2)(B)(iii) in order to ascertain that the FLTCIP meets the
      requirements of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Long Term Care
      Model Act and Regulations.

This was the OIG’s first audit of OPM’s oversight of the FLTCIP. The initial results of this
audit were discussed with OPM officials during an exit conference on September 25, 2017. A
draft report was provided to OPM officials on January 18, 2018, for their review and comments.
OPM’s response to the draft report was considered in preparation of this final report and is
included as an Appendix.




                                               2	                 Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
IV. OBJECTIVES,
II.  MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS
                SCOPE, ANDTO THIS REPORT
                          METHODOLOGY
 OBJECTIVES

 The main objectives of the audit were to determine whether OPM administered the FLTCIP
 procurement processes for the 2016 contract re-bid in accordance with the applicable Federal
 regulations, and to review the extent and involvement of OPM in the FLTCIP rate setting process
 and determine if OPM had any opportunities to mitigate price increases over the term of the 2009
 contract.

 Our specific audit objectives were to:

    Procurement Process Review

    	 Obtain an understanding of OPM’s policies and procedures related to the 2016 FLTCIP
       procurement process and to determine if the appropriate regulations were followed.

    	 Verify that the requirements mandated in the Long Term Care Security Act were 

       followed by OPM’s Office of Procurement Operations. 


    Rate Monitoring Process Review

    	 Obtain an understanding of OPM’s policies and procedures related to monitoring of
       enrollee premium rates and the potential need for increases.

    	 Review the premium rate setting process and all related policies and procedures to
       determine what, if any, precautions are taken to mitigate future premium increases.

    	 Determine if the Healthcare and Insurance Office has a contingency plan in place for the
       FLTCIP, given the rapidly changing marketplace, in the event that the program is no
       longer sustainable.

 SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
 We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government
 auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
 sufficient and appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and
 conclusions based on the audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a
 reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on the audit objectives.


                                                3	                  Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
The audit included a review of OPM’s oversight of the procurement process for the 2016
FLTCIP contract and the rate monitoring process for 2009 through 2016. Our field work was
conducted at OPM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., from May 15 through 26, 2017.
Additional audit work was completed at our offices in Washington, D.C. and Cranberry
Township, Pennsylvania.

In planning and conducting the audit, we obtained an understanding of OPM’s internal control
structure as it relates to the oversight of the FLTCIP, to help determine the nature, timing, and
extent of our auditing procedures. This was determined to be the most effective approach to
select areas of audit. For those areas selected, we primarily relied on substantive tests of
transactions and not tests of controls. Additionally, since our audit would not necessarily detect
all significant matters in the internal control structure, we do not express an opinion on OPM’s
system of internal controls, taken as a whole.

We also conducted such tests of accounting records and other auditing procedures as we
considered necessary to determine compliance with the FLTCIP contract and Federal
regulations. Exceptions noted in the areas reviewed are set forth in the “Audit Results” section
of this report. With respect to the items not tested, nothing came to our attention that caused us
to believe that OPM had not complied, in all material respects, with those provisions.

In conducting the audit, we relied to varying degrees on computer-generated data provided by
OPM. Due to time constraints, we did not verify the reliability of the data generated by the
various information systems involved. However, while utilizing the computer-generated data
during our audit, nothing came to our attention to cause us to doubt its reliability. We believe
that the data was sufficient to achieve our audit objectives.

To determine whether OPM administered the FLTCIP procurement process for the 2016 contract
re-bid in accordance with all Federal regulations and to determine if OPM had any opportunities
to mitigate price increases over the term of the 2009 contract, we performed the following audit
steps:

   Procurement Process Review

   	 We met with OPM’s Office of Procurement Operations to obtain an understanding of the
      procurement process and the policies and procedures that govern the procurement process
      to determine if appropriate Federal regulations were followed.

   	 We reviewed the Long Term Care Securities Act to determine if mandated contract
      requirements were followed by the Office of Procurement Operations.

                                                 4	                  Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
Rate Monitoring Process Review

	 We met with OPM’s Office of Actuaries and Healthcare and Insurance Office to
   determine their roles in administering the FLTCIP, their responsibilities for monitoring
   the rates, the current policies and procedures for administering the program and to
   identify controls in place to mitigate rate changes. We also reviewed the FLTCIP Funded
   Status Reports provided by John Hancock for 2009 through 2015.

	 To determine OPM’s involvement in the rate setting process for the FLTCIP and what
   controls are in place to monitor rate changes, we met with OPM officials, we reviewed
   the FLTCIP contract to identify any rate requirements, we reviewed independent
   assessments of the premium rates submitted by John Hancock, and we reviewed Benefit
   Administration Letters sent to FLTCIP enrollees.

	 To determine if OPM has a contingency plan in place for the FLTCIP in the event the
   program is no longer sustainable we interviewed OPM officials from the Office of
   Procurement Operations, Office of Actuaries, and the Healthcare and Insurance Office.




                                           5	                 Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
                                III. AUDIT RESULTS
A. Procurement Process Review

   Our review determined that OPM followed Federal regulations related to procurement when
   awarding the 2009 and 2016 FLTCIP contracts.

B. Rate Monitoring Process Review

   Our review determined that OPM effectively monitored the FLTCIP premium rates during
   program years 2009 through 2016.

   The FLTCIP contractor, John Hancock, provides OPM with semi-annual funded status reports
   that include information on the Experience Fund1 and premium rates. OPM’s Office of
   Actuaries performs a review of the actuarial assumptions contained in the reports and provides a
   summary to the Healthcare and Insurance Office. As part of the monitoring of the FLTCIP,
   OPM meets with John Hancock to review the results of the semi-annual report, the Office of
   Actuaries’ summary report, and investment results and strategy. John Hancock also performs a
   more detailed and extensive analysis of this information every three years.

   During the second contract period, the semi-annual funded status reports indicated a fully funded
   Experience Fund until the report which was issued “as of 9/30/2013.” In June 2014, John
   Hancock notified OPM of a potential funding shortfall in the Experience Fund. A shortfall
   would mean that at some point there might not be enough funds to pay expected future claims.
   John Hancock indicated that they would work with OPM to assess the implications of the funded
   status report findings and recommendations. In April 2015, John Hancock performed a thorough
   analysis of the claims experience and updated its pricing assumptions (which included lapse
   rates, return on investment rates, and mortality and morbidity rates) and determined that a
   premium increase was needed. As a result, John Hancock submitted a proposed premium rate
   increase to be effective May 1, 2016.

   Because of the price increase proposed, OPM decided not to extend the current contract. In
   September 2015, OPM issued a new Request for Proposal in an effort to attract competitive
   bidders and better rates. However, John Hancock was the sole bidder and was awarded the
   seven-year contract, effective from May 1, 2016, through April 30, 2023. As previously
   proposed by John Hancock, premiums significantly increased for new FLTCIP applicants
   beginning in August 2015. In July 2016, current enrollees received personalized information
   detailing their premium increase and were given the opportunity to make coverage changes to

   1
    FLTCIP premiums are held by the Program’s insurer(s) in an Experience Fund, and kept separate from their other
   assets.

                                                          6                      Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
   mitigate the premium increase. The premium increase for current enrollees took effect in 

   November 2016. 


C. Program Improvement Area

   1. Contingency Planning 	                                                                             Procedural

       The FLTCIP has been in place for 15 years and is in its third contract                     OPM needs to have
       period. During those 15 years, the long-term care insurance industry has                   contingency plans in
       seen numerous changes, such as:                                                            place for the rapidly
                                                                                                  changing long-term
       	 In 2000, there were 125 insurers in the long-term care insurance                           care insurance
          marketplace. By 2014, there were only 12 insurers that were issuing                            market.
          at least 2,500 individual policies and only 5 insurers sold group
          policies;

       	 John Hancock, the current FLTCIP contractor, discontinued the sale of new group
          policies in 2010, and discontinued the sale of individual policies in December 2016;

       	 Today, only one insurance company offers a “true group”2 plan, similar to FLTCIP; and

       	 Many insurers are now offering a hybrid product; long-term care insurance combined
          with either life insurance or an annuity.

       Our review found a lack of competition for the FLTCIP contract, as evidenced by the fact
       that the most recent Request for Proposal attracted only one bidder. This is likely because
       the “true group” plan (like FLTCIP) is almost non-existent in today’s marketplace.
       However, John Hancock has stated they intend to continue to bid on and service the current
       FLTCIP contract.

       When we approached the Healthcare and Insurance Office about contingency planning in the
       event it receives no bidders on its next Request for Proposal, it stated that the law ensures the
       continuance of the FLTCIP. Specifically, in the event that John Hancock does not bid on
       future Request for Proposals, OPM does have a provision in the current contract, which
       allows it to extend the contract beyond its expiration, requiring John Hancock to continue to
       service Federal employees previously enrolled. During rate negotiations, OPM can suspend



   2
    A group plan usually consists of individual plans bundled together for a group rate. A “true group” plan is one
   policy filed in one state, with members given certificates.

                                                            7	                      Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
new enrollments temporarily, if necessary. The Healthcare and Insurance Office informed us
that any other changes to the FLTCIP would require legislation enacted by Congress.

Considering the rapidly changing environment of the long-term care insurance industry,
OPM should develop a formal contingency plan to prepare for future FLTCIP procurement
challenges. Although some changes may require regulatory or legislative actions, OPM
should be proactive in planning for any changes that could arise in the future.

Recommendation 1

We recommend that OPM develop and implement a formal contingency plan well in advance
of the next FLTCIP procurement action. The plan should take into consideration the risks in
the long-term care insurance market that adversely affect the continuance and feasibility of
the program.

OPM’s Response:

OPM disagrees with our recommendation. OPM states that as part of its monitoring of the
program, many of its departments are in regular contact with John Hancock. They meet
with John Hancock monthly to discuss operational matters, and semi-annually to review
the funded status reports. OPM further states it is discussing new product and plan design
ideas and will continue to assess an array of options to address rate stabilization concerns
and to ensure that FLTCIP will meet the needs of its enrollees.

OIG’s Response:

The OIG agrees that OPM is effectively monitoring the current FLTCIP program (based on
current regulations), as stated earlier in our report. Our concern is with the fast-paced change
in the market of the long-term care insurance industry. While we are encouraged that OPM
is discussing new product and plan designs with John Hancock, we would like to see more
formal plans in place as to the implementation of future product changes. Although these are
‘what if’ scenarios, any potential changes to the product or discontinuance of the current
product in the future would require significant planning and work with Congress to
potentially change legislation. OPM should position itself with the ability to permanently
suspend enrollment to new enrollees should the need arise. Preplanning and road-mapping
potential future changes will ensure continuity for the FLTCIP enrollees.




                                             8                   Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
                                                        APPENDIX


                     UNITED STATES OFFICE OF PERSONNELMANAGEMENT
                                                               Washington, DC 20415




                                                          March 15, 2018


MEMORANDUM FOR: 	
                                                        Chief, Special Audits Group

FROM:      EDWARD
                       Digitally signed by EDWARD
                       DEHARDE
                       DN: c=us, o=U.S. Government,
                                                        for ALAN SPIELMAN
                       ou=Office of Personnel
           DEHARDE     Management, cn=EDWARD
                       DEHARDE,                         Director, Healthcare and Insurance
                       0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.1=2400
                       1000012935
                       Date: 2018.03.16 09:36:46 -
                       04'00'




SUBJECT: 	                                              Draft Report on the Audit of the U.S. Office of
                                                        Personnel Management’s Oversight of the Rate
                                                        Monitoring and Procurement Process of the Federal
                                                        Long Term Care Insurance Program Report number
                                                        4A-HI-00-17-025


Thank you for providing OPM the opportunity to respond to the Office of the Inspector
General (OIG) draft report on the Audit of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s
Oversight of the Rate Monitoring and Procurement Process of the Federal Long Term
Care, Report number 4A-HI-00-17-025.

Our response to the recommendation is provided below.

Recommendation # 1: We recommend that OPM develop and implement a formal
contingency plan well in advance of the next FLTCIP procurement action. The plan
should take into consideration the risks in the long-term care insurance market that
adversely affect the continuance and feasibility of the program.

Management Response:

Do Not Concur. As the draft report acknowledges, the FLTCIP law and the terms of the
FLTCIP contract ensure the continuance of the program. OPM may extend the contract, beyond
its expiration, if needed.



                                                                                      Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
In addition, OPM continues to incorporate mitigating controls and consider program
modifications to address the concerns that we mutually share. These include:

   1.	 OPM contracting, actuarial, management offices, and executive leadership are in regular
       contact with John Hancock to monitor the program and assess rate sufficiency in order to
       ensure that premiums “reasonably and equitably reflect the cost of the benefits provided”
       and that they are sufficient to pay future claims.

   2.	 OPM is discussing new product and plan design ideas to address rate stabilization
       concerns for FLTCIP.

In short, OPM continually monitors the performance of FLTCIP through standards agreed upon
in the contract. John Hancock provides OPM with semi-annual funded status reports that include
information on the Experience Fund and premium rates. In addition, John Hancock meets with
OPM to review the status reports as well as investment results and strategy. Finally, OPM and
John Hancock discuss the operational aspects of FLTCIP on a monthly basis.

OPM recognizes the evolving state of the long-term care industry and has been proactive in
monitoring the program’s performance, while engaging in meaningful dialogue and analysis to
best position the program for the future. OPM will continue to assess plan benefit and design
options to ensure that FLTCIP enrollees are receiving an array of options to meet their long term
care needs.




                                                                    Report No. 4A-HI-00-17-025
                                                                             

               Report Fraud, Waste, and
                   Mismanagement 

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                     Government concerns everyone: Office of
                         the Inspector General staff, agency
                      employees, and the general public. We
                    actively solicit allegations of any inefficient
                          and wasteful practices, fraud, and
                     mismanagement related to OPM programs
                    and operations. You can report allegations
                                to us in several ways:


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                         report-fraud-waste-or-abuse


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        By Mail:         Office of the Inspector General
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                         Washington, DC 20415-1100