Friday, February 22, 2013
Its been a busy week for ACA implementation. A few days ago we saw the Essential Helath Benefits rule, here. Today, HHS issued the final regulations for health insurance markets, here. As noted in the Executive Summary, "Beginning in 2014, health insurance issuers will be prohibited from denying coverage … because of a pre-existing condition, and from charging individuals and small employers higher premiums based on health status or gender. In addition, health insurance issuers will no longer be able to segment enrollees into separate rating pools in order to charge high-risk individuals more than low-risk individuals." The final regulation has the following components:
- (1) provides that health insurance issuers may vary the premium rate for health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets only based on family size, geography, and age and tobacco use within limits
- (2) directs health insurance issuers to offer coverage to and accept every employer or individual who applies for coverage in the group and individual market, subject to certain exceptions
- (3) directs health insurance issuers to renew or continue in force coverage in the group and individual market, subject to certain exceptions
- (4) codifies the requirement that issuers maintain a single risk pool for the individual market and a single risk pool for the small group market (unless a state decides to merge the markets into a single risk pool)
- (5) outlines standards for enrollment in catastrophic plans for young adults and people who cannot otherwise afford health insurance.