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July 30, 2015

New Rules, Busy Times for Congressional Research Service

The Congressional Research Service is charged with keeping lawmakers apprised of the details of legislative matters and procedures. One of its biggest jobs right now, without a doubt, is tracking the implementation of the 2010 health care law.

CRS published for Congress an updated report on June 30 on upcoming rule-makings under the 2010 overhaul. The regular report reviews upcoming HHS and other agency rule plans included in the spring 2014 edition of the Unified Agenda. The agenda and corresponding agency regulatory plans are designed to assist not only lawmakers, but also the public, which can comment on proposed rules. (However, not all rules — especially on unplanned matters — are included in the Unified Agenda, nor in the regulatory plans of the various agencies.)

The health care overhaul has spawned a wide range of regulatory requirements and many of the initial health insurance exchange and insurance policy implementation requirements have been set and are now subject to annual regulatory updates.

The two closely watched major annual rule packages that directly relate to the implementation of the health coverage law are the “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters,” which adjusts insurer risk transfer programs (view March 11, 2014, final rules for 2015). Also, the annual adjustment of health insurance exchange regulations are published in “Exchange and Insurance Market Standards” updates (view May 27. 2014, final rules for 2015).

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