HHS Unveils Proposed HIE Rules

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 15, 2013

Given the length of the proposed rule, providers and payers were still leafing through it Monday afternoon to try to determine the impact on their corner of the healthcare sector.

"Our folks are going through the regulations, but yes, we have raised a number of concerns about affordability," Robert Zirkelbach, vice president of strategic communications for America's Health Insurance Plans, in an email exchange.

"For the new exchanges and market reforms to work, coverage needs to be affordable and there needs to be broad participation in the system," Zirkelbach says.

While HHS talks about keeping insurance affordable, Zirkelbach points to an analysis by Oliver Wyman which estimates that an ACA-mandated $100 billion sales tax on health insurance "will increase premiums in the insured market on average by 1.9% to 2.3% in 2014," and by 2023 "will increase premiums 2.8% to 3.7%."    

"We remain concerned that major provisions of the law, such as the new health insurance tax, will increase premiums and result in many younger and healthier people forgoing insurance until they need it—thus driving up costs for everyone else," Zirckelbach says.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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