The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced it is extending the public comment period on its proposed rulemaking for the establishment of state health insurance exchanges. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the exchanges must be operational by January 1, 2014. However, the ACA did not fully elaborate all federal requirements for the design and operation of exchanges.
The current proposed regulation comes after three previous opportunities for individuals and organizations to submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on how the exchanges should be structured. This proposed rule: (1) Sets forth the Federal requirements that States must meet if they elect to establish and operate an Exchange; (2) outlines minimum requirements that health insurance issuers must meet to participate in an Exchange and offer qualified health plans; and (3) provides basic standards that employers must meet to participate in the Small Business Health Options Program. HHS stated that its intent with this proposed rule is to afford States substantial discretion in the design and operation of an Exchange. Click here to view the proposed regulation.
The National Council has reviewed the proposed Exchange regulation and is preparing comments. When our comments are finalized, we will disseminate them as a template for other interested organizations to use as their basis of their own comments. Stay tuned to the Public Policy Update and other National Council communications to see the comment template. Comments are now due by Oct. 31, 2011.