A final rule that starts the process of assessing and accrediting “qualified health plans” for listing on health insurance exchanges could soon be published.

The Department of Health and Human Services has sent the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review, just five weeks after publishing the proposed rule in early June. OBM review is one of the final steps before a rule is issued.

The final rule will establish data collection requirements for applicable health plans to support the definition of “essential health benefits” that plans must offer to be listed on a state insurance exchange, as authorized in the Affordable Care Act. The rule also will start a two-phase process for accreditation of qualified health plans.

HHS will continue “comprehensive rulemaking” related to essential health benefits and insurance exchanges, according to the proposed rule published on June 5.

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