HHS Unveils Much-Anticipated Health Exchange Proposed Rule

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the release of proposed regulations that will govern how states are to set up and run new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance.

Kaiser Health News: “The proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services runs to hundreds of pages. Industry groups, consumer advocates and others will have 75 days to comment. Final rules are expected later this year. Insurers want states to be granted great flexibility in how they design their exchanges – and don’t want to be barred from seats on oversight boards. Consumer groups, however, would prefer that insurers not be allowed on the boards or, if they are, to meet strict conflict-of-interest rules. The groups also are watching closely to see whether the federal government will require states to choose which insurers can participate – and negotiate with them over prices and other issues – or allow a looser structure in which all insurers that meet the minimum standards under the law can participate” (Appleby, 7/11). KHN also provides an updated FAQ: staff writer Julie Appleby writes: A Guide To Health Insurance Exchanges (Appleby, 7/10).

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