Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran, 536 U.S. 355, 19 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 355 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

nity" insurers is no matter; "we would not undertake to freeze the concepts of 'insurance' . . . into the mold they fitted when these Federal Acts were passed." SEC v. Variable Annuity Life Ins. Co. of America, 359 U. S., at 71. Thus, the Illinois HMO Act is a law "directed toward" the insurance industry, and an "insurance regulation" under a "commonsense" view.


The McCarran-Ferguson factors confirm our conclusion. A law regulating insurance for McCarran-Ferguson purposes targets practices or provisions that "ha[ve] the effect of transferring or spreading a policyholder's risk; . . . [that are] an integral part of the policy relationship between the insurer and the insured; and [are] limited to entities within the insurance industry." Union Labor Life Ins. Co. v. Pireno, 458 U. S. 119, 129 (1982). Because the factors are guide-posts, a state law is not required to satisfy all three McCarran-Ferguson criteria to survive preemption, see UNUM Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, 526 U. S., at 373, and so we follow our precedent and leave open whether the review mandated here may be described as going to a practice that "spread[s] a policyholder's risk." For in any event, the second and third factors are clearly satisfied by 4-10.

It is obvious enough that the independent review requirement regulates "an integral part of the policy relationship between the insurer and the insured." Illinois adds an extra layer of review when there is internal disagreement about an HMO's denial of coverage. The reviewer applies both a standard of medical care (medical necessity) and characteristically, as in this case, construes policy terms. Cf. Pe-gram v. Herdrich, 530 U. S., at 228-229. The review affects the "policy relationship" between HMO and covered persons by translating the relationship under the HMO agreement into concrete terms of specific obligation or freedom from duty. Hence our repeated statements that the interpretation of insurance contracts is at the "core" of the business of


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