State insurance regulators are talking at their meeting in Washington this week about how they will go about regulating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program and other PPACA programs now they really exist, and are no longer paper dream castles.
One panel at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Consumer Information Subgroup, has been updating an existing PPACA document — a list of answers to consumers’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about PPACA. The panel includes consumer group representatives along with representatives from insurance industry groups.
Members of the panel are trying to give state insurance commissioners and their employees ideas about how to handle PPACA-related questions.
The panel staff has created a draft that includes suggested revisions, and the panel has also posted comments from several longtime consumer reps. In the staff draft, for example, drafters have used red and blue ink to revise a question about the types of health insurance exchanges that exist, in an effort to explain the existence of state-run exchanges, exchanges run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and exchanges run by an HHS-state partnership is clearly as possible. At press time, the revised answer ended with a suggestion that consumers should to in-state regulators if they want to find out how their own state’s exchange is regulated.
The FAQ could affect agents and brokers by influencing what clients and prospects read when they visit insurance regulators’ websites and what they hear when they call consumer help lines.
For more information about the consumer reps said about the latest PPACA consumer FAQ revision, read on.
1. Are certain people paying for Medicare Part A able to enroll through the [insert name of exchange]?
Bonnie Burns, a Medicare specialist at California Health Advocates, has a number of suggestions about answers to questions about how PPACA affects Medicare.
She suggested, for example, that an answer to the existing question, “Are dental or vision benefits available through the [insert name of the state exchange]?” that the FAQ should discuss whatever options might be available to Medicare enrollees.