OPM Proposes Rules On Multi-State Plan Program For Health Insurance Exchanges

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued a proposed rule that implements the multi-state plan program (MSPP) located in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA directs the OPM to contract with private health insurance issuers to offer at least two multi-state plans (MSPs) in the health insurance exchange in each state and the District of Columbia. The proposed rule was published in the December 5 Federal Register.

The MSPP was created to foster competition among plans competing in the individual and small group health insurance markets in exchanges on the basis of price, quality, and benefit delivery. Under the ACA, an MSPP issuer may phase in the states in which it offers coverage over four years, but it must offer MSPs in exchanges in all states and the District of Columbia by the fourth year in which the MSPP issuer participates in the MSPP. The first open enrollment period for plans offered through exchanges will begin on Oct. 1, 2013, for coverage starting in January 2014.

The MSP is a new product and will be one of several private health insurance options offered on the exchanges beginning in 2014, according to the OPM. The OPM will administer the MSPP, which will run on these principles:

• ensure a choice of at least two high-quality products to consumers participating on each exchange;

• promote competition in the health insurance marketplace to the benefit of all consumers;

• offer plans from the same issuer to families or small businesses that may reside or operate in more than one state;

• provide strong, effective contractual oversight of the issuers that choose to offer MSPs; and

• work cooperatively with states and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure a level playing field between qualified health plans and MSPs.

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by Jan. 5, 2013, and may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov; or by mail to National Healthcare Operations, Healthcare and Insurance, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW, Room 2347, Washington, DC 20415. When commenting, refer to RIN 3206-AM47.

For more information, contact Julia Elam at (202) 606-2128.

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