State agencies have more information about implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care of 2010 (PPACA) than they had a year ago, but they still need more details from Washington.
Stuart Wright, a deputy inspector general at the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has come to that conclusion in a report on state PPACA implementation efforts.
PPACA calls for state and federal agencies to work together to expand enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and to set up a new system of “exchanges” that will serve as health insurance supermarkets.
PPACA Section 1413 requires HHS to help the states with the PPACA “health subsidy” program efforts by developing a streamlined health program application form.
Section 1413 requires each state to develop a “secure electronic interface for exchange of information among program,” and to “participate in data-matching agreements for obtaining eligibility information from various sources,” Wright wrote in his report.
In March 2012 and April 2012, inspector general’s office investigators surveyed the states to get their views on how implementation was going and what kinds of additional help they needed from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the HHS arm in charge of PPACA implementation efforts.
At that time — about a year ago — 35 of the 45 states that responded said they expected to be able to meet the PPACA requirements by Jan. 1, 2014, Wright said.
“States also reported needing information and guidance, particularly on the secretary’s application form, the planned federal data services hub, and the calculation of modified adjusted gross income,” Wright said.
Since then, HHS has posted details about the exchange individual and group coverage application forms.