On March 10, the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Treasury issued a proposed regulation implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) provision that allows states to seek waivers of the law’s requirements relating to state-based insurance exchanges, tax credits, the individual and employer mandate and essential health benefits. The proposed rule asks for public input on how states can apply for an “Innovation Waiver,” as well as how the Administration will monitor and evaluate such waivers. In order to apply for a waiver, states must ensure that the coverage will be at least as comprehensive and affordable as the coverage provided under PPACA and must cover the same number of residences as would have been covered under the law. Further, the state plan cannot increase the federal deficit. Currently, the PPACA allows Innovation Waivers to be implemented in 2017. However, President Obama has supported bi-partisan legislation that would allow states to apply for waivers by 2014. Innovation Waivers are provided for up to five years, with the option of renewal.
21 Mar '11