HealthCare.gov managers are getting ready to find out what plans will be on each state’s menu for the 2017 open enrollment period.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency in charge of HealthCare.gov, has set the qualified health plan (QHP) application period to run from April 11 through May 11. CMS hopes to lock in the information it needs to fill the enrollment system’s health plan database by Aug. 23.
That schedule applies directly only to the states that use the HealthCare.gov system. States with their own locally run Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange programs can use different QHP review schedules.
The QHP application period for 2015 ran from April 15 through May 15.
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CMS also oversees a PPACA rate review program for non-grandfathered individual and small-group major medical plans. An issuer is supposed to file justifications for any 2017 rate increases of 10 percent a more.
State insurance regulators review rates in some states. CMS reviews rates in others.
In the CMS review states, issuers’ preliminary justifications for double-digit rate increases are due May 11. CMS plans to post the justifications online on May 25. Final rates and justifications are supposed to be in CMS systems by Aug. 23.
A state with its own state-based rate review system may set a different rate review schedule.
Observers are watching closely to see how much interest health carriers have in doing business with the PPACA exchange system in 2017. CMS could give an early indication in the next few days, when it releases a preliminary count of the number of issuers that say they want to sell dental plans through HealthCare.gov for 2017. CMS posts the counts to help states administer a PPACA children’s dental benefits mandate.