HHS Releases Rules on Health Exchanges

March 14, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday released its final rule to implement the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges including Small Business Health Options Programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This 644 page rule will be published in the federal register on March 27 but may be accessed now by clicking here.

NSBA is in the process of conducting a full analysis on this rule and will be providing updates in the coming weeks. In short, the rule is meant to provide considerable flexibility to state exchanges, provide a simplified and competitive structured health insurance market for small businesses and consumers, and set forth the rules for determining individuals’ eligibility for exchange participation and insurance affordability programs.

One positive note: HHS did accept one key recommendation made by NSBA in our formal comments to the proposed rule. State exchanges no longer must receive HHS prior approval before being able to make any significant change. Instead, the exchanges must notify HHS and if HHS does not act within 60 days, the exchange can implement the changes.