On August 12, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department issued proposed rules intended to help establish state-based healthcare insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. The first rule details the standards and processes for qualified health plans and insurance affordability programs, including standards for small employer participation.
The Treasury Department proposed rules for determining how individuals and families will qualify for tax credits intended to help defray insurance costs. Finally, DHHS proposed expanding and simplifying the rules for Medicaid eligibility, and coordinating Medicaid and CHIP with the new healthcare exchanges. The agencies stated that the rules are intended to provide simplified, streamlined processes for determining eligibility for participation in the exchanges.
The state exchanges will serve as the entry point for persons seeking coverage under any of the federal programs. DHHS announced grants intended to help states defray the cost of establishing their exchanges. The agencies will accept comments on the new rules for 75 days. A summary of these proposals can be found here.