HHS Extends Comment Period on Insurance Exchanges

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The Department of Health and Human Services has extended public comment on two proposed rules published on July 15 to establish state insurance exchanges and implement standards related to reinsurance and risk adjustment.

HHS is extending comment periods on the rules from Sept. 28, 2011 to Oct. 31, 2011. The department believes that additional proposed rules published on Aug. 17 covering eligibility determinations by an exchange "generate additional insight into issues raised under the July 15, 2011 proposed rules," according to a notice available here and being published on Sept. 30 in the Federal Register.

The July rule would set minimum standards for Web-based state insurance exchanges, called Affordable Insurance Exchanges and mandated under the Affordable Care Act, to provide one-stop shopping for health coverage for individuals and small businesses. The rule has requirements for states to establish and operate exchanges, defines minimum requirements for insurers to participate and offer qualified health plans, and provides standards for small businesses employers to participate.

Under the reform law, states must notify HHS by 2013 of their intent to build an exchange and to have it operational in 2014. The federal government will develop an exchange in any state that refuses to do so.


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