The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving members of the public until Halloween to comment on any dangers that may be haunting a health insurance exchange proposal and a health insurance risk management proposal.

HHS is pushing the comment deadline for the proposed exchange and risk management rules back to Oct. 31, from Sept. 28.

HHS originally published the proposed rules in the Federal Register July 1.

One proposed rule would implement the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) that call for HHS and states to work together to create a new system of health insurance distribution exchanges.

The other proposed rule is supposed to help HHS, states and health insurers handle the shifting of risk that may come in 2014, when PPACA is supposed to require insurers to sell individual and small group coverage on a guaranteed issue, mostly community-rated basis.

HHS is extending the comment deadline to give commenters more time to consider the effects of additional PPACA rules proposed by HHS and the U.S. Treasury Department in August, officials say.

- Allison Bell

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