Every state will have a health insurance exchange—whether operated by a particular state or by the federal government—when the system is scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2014, the head of the government bureau implementing the healthcare law said today.
Clearly, said Steve Larsen, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Department of Health and Human Services, the launching of exchanges system will rest on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is upheld by the Supreme Court. The CCIIO is now housed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“It will be one of the most important decisions [by the court] in a long time,” he said.
As to the final rule implementing the exchanges, Larsen implied that release was imminent.
He used the words, “very soon” and “very close” in discussing the exchange regulations, but an aide declined to confirm or deny whether those rules are resting with the Office of Management and Budget, which has the final say in approving a proposed or final federal regulation.
Larsen made his comments as the opening speaker at the 2012 National Policy Forum of America’s Health Insurance Plans, being held today and Wednesday in Washington.
At the same time, HHS released on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website today the latest revised version of its “recommended approach” for an updated state-specific threshold for rate increases.
It appears that HHS has determined that the threshold for examining proposed rate increases by insurance companies will remain at 10 percent.
The comment period on the proposal ends March 12th.