The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its proposed rule on the implementation of the Health Insurance Exchanges ("Exchanges") as directed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and amendments, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Exchanges are expected to create competitive marketplaces for health insurance plans. Individuals and small employers will be able to compare private health insurance options based on various categories such as quality and price. The expectation is that the Exchanges will encourage competition among insurance plan providers, thereby creating improvements in the quality of health plans and their benefits and affordability of health plan choices. Additionally, small employers theoretically will have the same purchasing "clout" as large employers. The exchanges must become operational by January 1, 2014.
The proposed rule temporarily is posted at http://ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-17610_PI.pdf.
APTA is preparing a summary of the proposal to share with members, and the association will submit comments, which are due on or around September 10.