Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Proposed Rule Protects Patients From Discriminatory Policies The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released a proposed regulation that would implement the policies in the Affordable Care Act that make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. The provisions in the proposed rule are related to fair health insurance premiums, guaranteed availability, guaranteed renewability, risk pools, and catastrophic plans. Notably, the proposed rule clarifies the approach used to enforce the applicable requirements of the Affordable Care Act with respect to health insurance issuers and group health plans that are nonfederal governmental plans. Additionally, this proposed rule would amend the standards for health insurance issuers and states regarding reporting, utilization, and collection of data under the Public Health Service Act, which established a process for reviewing unreasonable increases in premiums for health insurance coverage. The rule also revises the timeline for states to propose state-specific thresholds for rate review and approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Comments on this proposed rule are due on or around December 26. See related articles titled "HHS Releases Essential Health Benefits Proposed Rule" and "HHS Proposes Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans." APTA's Regulatory Affairs department will provide full summaries of the 3 proposed rules shortly.