Federal regulators expect to wait until Jan. 1, 2012, to enforce some of the new federal internal claims and appeals requirements.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), an arm of the U.S. Labor Department, has announced the 6-month extension of the enforcement grace period in Technical Release Number 2011-01.
The grace period affects implementation of Section 2719 of the Public Health Service Act. Congress added the section with a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that sets standards for internal claims and appeals and external reviews of coverage denials.
Although the technical release appears on the EBSA site, the grace period applies to enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Treasury Department, and HHS and Treasury Department agencies as well as actions by EBSA and the Labor Department.
The rules originally were set to take effect Sept. 23, 2010, but the agencies did not publish the interim final regulations that employers and health plans needed to start complying with Section 2719 until July 23, 2010.
The agencies announced in Technical Release Number 2010-02 that they would wait until July 1, 2011, to start enforcing parts of the regulations.