In This Issue:
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Other HHS and Federal Regulatory Initiatives
Other Congressional and State Initiatives
Other Health Care News
Hearings & Mark-ups Scheduled
Excerpt from Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
On February 17th the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a guidance document answering several frequently asked questions about its plans for implementing essential health benefits (EHB) rules.
On February 21st the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced awards of $639 million in grants under the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) provisions of the ACA. These provisions provide low-interest loans to support the creation of new, consumer-directed health plans. Republicans have pointed out that one of the recipients may be ineligible under the law and have accused the administration of using the grants to support political allies.
On February 22nd CMS issued a final rule describing how states can apply for innovation waivers. A state can receive these waivers from specific requirements of the ACA if it implements alternative policies that it can show will provide health care coverage that is at least as comprehensive as that provided by the ACA. The same day CMS also issued a final rule providing details on the transparency requirements for Medicaid demonstration review and approval process.
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