New regulations could soon reshape the lives of the producers who sell all types of non-major-medical health benefits products.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) — an arm of the U.S. Labor Department — has submitted a package of proposed changes to the federal “excepted benefits” regulations to the Office and Management Budget for a regulatory impact review analysis.
The original excepted benefits regulations free many products other than major medical insurance, such as dental insurance, employee assistance plans, hospital indemnity insurance, short-term medical insurance and travel medical insurance, from Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) major medical rules.
EBSA is now trying to update the regulations to show which products will be free from the usual Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) major medical rules.
OMB officials say they believe that the proposed regulation is not a major regulatory undertaking. They are not yet sure whether they need to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis. They do not believe that they have to complete the regulations by a statutory deadline, and they are still determining what statutory legal authority would govern the regulations.
EBSA posted draft regulations in December.
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In some cases, the draft regulations could create big changes for existing products. In the proposed regulations, for example, EBSA suggested that, to qualify as excepted benefits, EAP programs might not be able to charge employees any fees or impose any cost-sharing requirements.