Officials at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could issue the regulations needed to set up a new type of health plan — a multi-state plan (MSP) – this spring.
Trish Riley and Jane Hyatt Thorpe, health policy researchers at Georgetown University, talk about the MSP program in a paper distributed by Georgetown University.
The drafters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) created the MSP program to increase the overall level of competition in the health insurance market.
PPACA opponents are trying to kill the law in Congress and in the courts.
If PPACA takes effect as written and works as drafters expect, individuals and small employers will be able to use a new system of tax credits to buy health coverage through a new system of health insurance exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, starting in 2014. Each exchange is supposed to make at least one slot available to a nonprofit MSP and a second slot available to another MSP.
PPACA also is creating another new type of plan, the CO-OP plan, that is supposed to be a nonprofit, member-owned cooperative with no ties to existing health insurers.
The MSP program is a separate program, and it apparently could be open to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, publicly traded health insurers, and other existing health insurers.
PPACA Section 1334 requires OPM to award the contracts needed to get the plans up and running by 2014.