HHS Makes Funds Available For Health Insurance Co-ops
The Department of Health and Human Services will make available $600 million in loans to help start these co-ops, which were authorized by the health law. Meanwhile, various regulations regarding the health law's coverage expansions are pending at the Office of Management and Budget.
The Hill: HHS Releases Funding Announcement For Co-Op Plans
The Health and Human Services Department formally released a funding opportunity Thursday to create health insurance cooperatives, a new type of plan authorized under the healthcare reform law. Co-ops must be nonprofit entities that reinvest extra revenues into either lowering premiums or improving the quality of care. Although they were originally pitched as an alternative to the controversial public option, co-ops cannot be run by a government entity (Baker, 7/28).
CQ HealthBeat: CMS Offers $3.8 Billion In Co-Op Loans
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted an announcement Thursday that it's offering $3.8 billion in loans under the health care overhaul to form consumer-run health care cooperatives. CMS is making available $600 million in loans to help start the "consumer operated and oriented plans," along with another $3.2 billion to help keep them solvent. The agency recently issued a proposed regulation on the creation of the entities, which are supposed to offer a more consumer-friendly alternative to for profit health plans (Reichard, 7/28).
In other health law implementation news, various coverage expansion regs are pending at the OMB -
Politico Pro: ACA Regs Pile Up At OMB
Affordable Care Act regulations are stacking up at the Office of Management and Budget. Three regs covering the nuts and bolts of the ACA's coverage expansion are pending at OMB now. One went there this week, one a month ago and the first landed on April 4. The most recent two regs concern eligibility determinations. On Monday, CMS sent OMB a rule on determining eligibility for subsidies in the exchanges. This follows a proposal for determining eligibility under new rules for the Medicaid program, which CMS delivered to OMB on June 28 (Feder, 7/29).