Qualified Health Plans (QHPs)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has requested public comments on ways to remove barriers to the sale of health insurance coverage across state lines in order to expand consumer choice.  In particular, CMS is interested in how states can utilize Section 1333 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which authorizes two or

The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services have issued a final rule that expands the availability of short-term, limited duration insurance policies that are exempt from Affordable Care Act (ACA) qualified health plan standards (e.g., the requirement to provide essential health benefits, prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions, lifetime and annual dollar limits,

CMS has released its final rule updating policies applying to qualified health plans (QHPs) offered on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges for 2019.  In the final rule, CMS stresses its goal of providing states greater flexibility and control over their insurance markets, particularly in the areas of: selection of essential health benefits benchmark plans; the

CMS is soliciting public input on the “evolution” of its State Innovation Models (SIM) Initiative, which was launched in 2013 to accelerate state design and testing of multi-payer payment and delivery models to generate savings and improve care for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. In a September 8, 2016 press

CMS has proposed its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which would apply to participation in Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplaces for 2018. In particular, the rule proposes revisions to the risk adjustment methodology to address, among other things:   risk associated with enrollees who are not enrolled for a full 12

CMS is putting health care providers on notice that it considers it “inappropriate” for providers to offer premium or cost-sharing assistance to Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries in order to “steer” the patient to an individual market plan “for a provider’s financial gain.”  In a request for information to be published on August 23, 2016, CMS cites anecdotal reports that some health care providers have determined that private plan rates are sufficiently high compared to Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement to allow a provider to pay a Medicare- or Medicaid-eligible patient’s private insurance premiums and still benefit financially.
Continue Reading CMS Flags Potential Provider “Steering” of Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries to Favorable ACA Marketplace Plans to Obtain Higher Rates

CMS has published its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which governs participation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplaces for 2017.  The sweeping rule addresses protection of consumers enrolled in Marketplace plans, network adequacy, marketplace premium stabilization programs, and various other refinements to Marketplace requirements.  Major provisions of the rule include the following:
Continue Reading CMS Finalizes 2017 Requirements for ACA Marketplace Plans

On December 23, 2015, CMS released its Draft 2017 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces, which provides operational and technical guidance to issuers seeking to offer qualified health plans (QHPs) in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces or the Federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Programs.  Comments will be accepted until January 17, 2016.

On December 2, 2015, CMS is publishing its annual proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which would govern participation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplaces for 2017. The wide-ranging rule includes a number of provisions intended to protect consumers enrolled in Marketplace plans, enhance transparency, improve marketplace premium stabilization programs, and make other refinements to Marketplace requirements. Of particular note, the proposed rule would:
Continue Reading Obama Administration Proposes 2017 ACA Marketplace Plan Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized its Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace health plan payment parameters and essential benefit standards for 2016. The rule addresses numerous policies, including: allocation of risk corridors collections for 2016; recalibration of risk adjustment factors; revisions to reinsurance and cost sharing parameters; user fees for

On September 5, 2014, CMS is publishing a final rule that specifies additional options for annual eligibility redeterminations and renewal and re-enrollment notice requirements for qualified health plans (QHP) offered through the ACA insurance Exchange/Marketplace, beginning with annual redeterminations for coverage for plan year 2015. The rule provides an auto-enrollment process intended to provide current

The Obama Administration has issued two regulations addressing coverage of contraceptive services under QHPs in response to recent court rulings (in particular the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.) addressing certain religious objections to such coverage. First, an interim final rule provides an additional pathway for nonprofit organizations eligible for a

The OIG has issued two reports on implementation of the ACA health insurance “Marketplaces.” The first report, “Marketplaces Faced Early Challenges Resolving Inconsistencies with Applicant Data,” looked at the extent to which the federal and state health insurance marketplaces ensured the accuracy of information submitted by insurance applicants, including information related to eligibility

On May 27, 2014, CMS published a final rule updating ACA Affordable Insurance Exchange and insurance market standards beginning in 2015. Among other things, the rule addresses standards related to: standardized consumer notices regarding insurance product discontinuation and renewal; Qualified Health Plan (QHP) quality data reporting to support quality ratings for plans on the

The Administration has issued numerous regulations recently that make additional changes to operational policies, payment provisions, and other standards applicable to health plans and Health Insurance Exchanges (also called Marketplaces) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Highlights include the following:
Continue Reading Obama Administration Continues to Update ACA Insurance Exchange and Health Plan Regulations

Recent CMS subregulatory guidance and related announcements regarding ACA insurance coverage and insurance exchange issues include the following:

Today CMS published an interim final rule with comment period that requires qualified health plan (QHP) issuers to accept premium and cost-sharing payments made on behalf of enrollees by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, Indian tribes and organizations, and other federal and state government programs that provide premium and cost sharing support. This rulemaking was prompted

CMS has announced that in light of persistent problems individuals have had enrolling in qualified health plans (QHPs) through some state-run Marketplaces, it will now allow individuals to access premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions on a retroactive basis in certain circumstances. Specifically, in guidance dated February 27, 2014, CMS states that if a

On February 4, 2014, CMS released draft operational and technical guidance to health insurance issuers that seek to offer Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in a Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) and/or a Federally-Facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (FF-SHOP) in 2015 and beyond (unless superseded in future years by subsequent regulations or guidance). Among many other things