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July 2011

Federal Auditors Will Soon Review Health Insurance Rates in 10 States

From: NYT


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will soon take over the review of health insurance rates in 10 states where it says state officials do not adequately regulate premiums for insurance sold to individuals or small businesses.

At least one state, Iowa, has protested the federal decision and asked administration officials to reconsider.

Several other states acknowledged that they lacked the power under state law to review health insurance rates. Several insurance commissioners tried and failed to get such authority from their state legislatures this year.

Big companies may tap state health exchanges

From: Business Insurance

By Jerry Geisel

WASHINGTON—States have the authority to decide whether large employers can purchase coverage through new state health insurance exchanges starting in 2017, according to health care reform regulations issued last week.

The exchanges are a pivotal part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Starting in 2014, they will be available to individuals, especially those eligible for federal health insurance premium subsidies, and employers with 100 or fewer employees. But until 2016, states can limit employer participation in the exchanges to organizations with up to 50 employees.

Committee Starts Task of Applying Federal Health Care Laws to SC

From: WSPA.com

COLUMBIA, S.C. –A South Carolina panel is beginning the arduous task of figuring out how to best configure the state’s health care system under the overhauled federal health care laws.

The same day the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USHHS) released 244 pages of new rules for states implementing the federal Affordable Care Act, the S.C. Health Planning Committee began holding its initial subcommittee meetings in Columbia.

By Oct. 28 the committee, charged with looking at the many ways South Carolina can implement the federal Affordable Care Act and funded by a $1 million federal grant, will recommend a plan to the Board of Health and Environmental Control for their changes and final approval.

Four Rules and Regs Health Policy Experts Can’t Wait To Read

by Dan Diamond, California Healthline Contributing Editor

Health policy is notoriously wonky, but industry experts have had extra reason to keep their reading glasses on these days.

Beyond the fine print surrounding the health reform law, a new rule, regulation or ruling has seemed to hit the health policy world like a newly discovered Harry Potter novel every few weeks.

When CMS released its eagerly awaited accountable care organization proposal on March 31, “just about everyone in Washington who deals with health care policy [was] reading through the 429-page proposed rule” within 24 hours — with so much demand on the Federal Register, the government’s website slowed to a crawl, Politico noted.