Sweeping New Health Plan Rules Proposed

The Obama administration issued sweeping new proposed rules (PDF) late Friday affecting provider networks in insurance exchange plans, consumer access to quality information about plans, selection of plans in the small business exchanges, state rules on enrollment navigators, and reinsurance and medical loss ratios for insurers.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and (US Department of Health and Human Services) HHS said the proposed rules and draft standardized notices that issuers would be required to use when renewing or discontinuing plans will help to ensure consumers understand the changes and choices in the individual and group market.

“We are concerned that some enrollees, particularly those with certain complex medical conditions, are having trouble accessing in a timely fashion clinically appropriate prescription drugs,” read a preamble to the proposed rules.

Healthcare providers and consumer advocacy groups have complained about exchange health plans narrowing their networks to exclude a significant number of hospitals,physicians, clinics, and other providers. Plans say narrowing their networks is necessary to keep premiums affordable. The insurance industry and business groups are likely to view the new proposed rules with concern. Read the rest of the article in Modern Healthcare here.

The Rural Voice ~ Advocating on behalf of the healthcare needs of rural Colorado, my blog posts feature rural health policy news.


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