Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Feds Issue Final Rule on Health Insurance Exchanges!  

As the Supreme Court was hearing arguments on the Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate, the Federal Government moved forward on publishing a final rule to explain the operation of health insurance exchanges. On March 27, 2012, the Feds officially published a final rule to guide states as they develop the health insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act. They are required to be in operation by January 2014. The goal of the exchanges is to create competitive and transparent marketplaces by bringing together small businesses and individuals in order to generate big group buying power. (For more info on the status of exchanges, click here.)
The final regulations incorporate and expand upon two proposed rules from 2011 to give states as much flexibility as possible in setting up their exchanges in order to account for regional differences in health care markets. However, the federal government retained the right to set up and operate exchanges in states that do not comply with the new regulations. According to the Obama Administration’s most recent progress report, 28 states were already “on their way” towards establishing exchanges. Wisconsin, unfortunately, was not one of these states.
For the full text of the rule, see the Federal Register. For more on this topic, click here.

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