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Exam Updates

Spring 2024

Summary

The SOA has released changes effective for the Spring 2024 sitting of FSA Group and Health Exams. The updated syllabi can be found here:

The overall trend we noticed from the changes is that the syllabi are shrinking in size (more content is being removed than new content is being added).

GHDP has the following changes:
  • Removed - The Essentials of Managed Healthcare textbook was removed entirely. This removed 2 chapters from Plan Provisions and Government Programs, and 1 chapter from Manual Rates. The last time this textbook was tested was the GHFVU Spring 2022 Sitting (Q6 and Q12c), before it was moved to the GHDP exam. Overall, this textbook was not a major part of the syllabus and was not frequently tested.
  • Removed - Pricing Critical Illness Insurance in Canada (a study note from the Manual rates section). This was a fairly small study note, and had only been tested once in the past (GHADV Spring 2018 Q3).
  • Added - 1 new website: Critical Illness Turns 40!. This website is fairly short.
  • Added - 1 new Excel model (details TBD): Calculated Risk: Driving Decisions Using the 5/50 Research. We will update this post as soon as we know more about this item.
  • Updated - The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefits (study note from the Plan Provisions and Government Programs section) was slightly updated.
  • Added - 1 new study note / Excel model (details TBD): Retiree Health Benefits - Accounting and Valuation Assumptions. However, this will not be tested until Fall 2024.
Note: While it looks like more was removed than added to the syllabus, the items that were removed were not tested frequently.

GHRM has the following changes:
  • Removed - The Handbook of Employee Benefits textbook was removed (6 chapters from the Employee Benefit Strategy section). However, 2 of these chapters were migrated into a single study note, so effectively only 4 chapters were removed from the syllabus.
  • Removed - Chapter 18 of Life & Health and Annuity Reinsurance (study note from the Risk Adjustment section). This was a fairly long section, with a large amount of testable content.
  • Removed - Value Based Pharmacy: A Canadian Example (study note from the Provider Reimbursement section). A fairly short study note that was not frequently tested.
  • Removed - Chapter 16 the Canadian Handbook of Flexible Benefits (study note from the Employee Benefit Strategy section). A fairly short section overall.
  • Added - 1 new website: Restoring the Indifference Ideal: If It’s Not Adjusting for “Risk,” It’s Not “Risk Adjustment”. This website is of medium length.
Overall, a lot more was removed from GHRM than was added.

GHVR has no syllabus changes.


Fall 2023

Summary

The SOA has released changes effective for the Fall 2023 sitting of FSA Group and Health Exams. The updated syllabi can be found here:

GHDP and GHRM remain the same. GHVR has the following changes:
  • 2 study notes added in the Financial Statements section (both relatively short)
  • 1 study note removed from the Regulation & Taxation section (medium length)
  • 1 study note modified in the Regulation & Taxation section (2 examples removed)


Spring 2023

Summary

The SOA has released changes effective for the Spring 2023 sitting of FSA Group and Health Exams. The updated syllabi can be found here:

These changes can be summarized at a high level as follows:
  1. Design and Pricing (DP) exam name remains unchanged.
    • Exam length has decreased from 5 to 3.5 hours.
    • 3 out of 5 former DP sections remain. Plan Provisions now also includes Government Programs. Employee Benefits and Provider Reimbursement have been moved to RM.
  2. Valuation and Regulation (VR-US) replaces Finance and Valuation (FV-US).
    • Exam length has decreased from 5 to 3.5 hours.
    • 4 out of 6 former FV sections remain. Government Programs has been moved to DP. Actuarial Appraisal has been dropped.
  3. Risk Mitigation (RM) replaces Specialty (SPC).
    • Exam length has increased from 2 to 3 hours.
    • 2 out of 4 former SPC sections remain. Employee Benefits and Provider Reimbursement from former DP have been added. ERM has been dropped.
  4. The total exam time of Group and Health has been reduced from 12 to 10 hours.

Mapping

The below shows a mapping of syllabus items from the old exam onto the new exam:

  • "NEW" denotes syllabus items on the Spring 2023 exams that were not previously covered by the Group & Health exams.
  • "REMOVED" denotes syllabus items on the former Group & Health exams that are no longer covered in the new exams.
  • Use the checkboxes on the right to filter by source type.
GHDPGHVR-USGHRMREMOVED
GHDP440218
GHFV-US432124
GHSPC011820
NEW8530
Source Types
Above you can see:
  1. The new GHDP is largely made up of the old GHDP.
  2. The new GHVR-US is largely made up of the old GHFV-US with roughly half the sections of old GHFV-US removed.
  3. The new GHRM is a mix of the old GHDP and GHSPC (with roughly half the sections of the old GHSPC removed).

Recommendations and Observations

  1. If you have recently passed the old GHDP, we recommend you take GHRM in May 2023. The new GHRM is comprised of half old GHDP material that you (hopefully) already know and the exam will count towards a different exam requirement.
  2. The overall amount of content covered by the new Group & Health Exams is less than the old Group & Health Exams. Previously, there were 175 syllabus items. Now there are 137 syllabus items. Similarly, the total exam time is shorter (12 to 10 hours).
  3. One textbook was removed (old GHSPC, Financial Enterprise Risk Management). One textbook was added (new GHDP, Insuring Long-Term Care). The majority of syllabus item changes are across Study Notes, Websites, and ASOPs.
  4. There are new syllabus items in GHDP: Manual Rates, Plan Provisions / Government Programs.
  5. There are new syllabus items in GHRM: Claims / Disease Management.
  6. There are new syllabus items in GHVR-US: Financial Statements, Regulation / Taxation.