Some Proposed Changes to ACA Marketplace Rules Aren’t Legal, Insurers Say

Health insurer trade groups have several bones to pick with the proposed 2025 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP), the annual regulation that sets the rules of the road for the Affordable Care Act exchanges. In the case of certain proposals, AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) are even arguing that CMS is exceeding its legal authority.

Those proposed rule changes concern the process that states use to define their essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark plans, according to comments on the 2025 NBPP filed on or before a Jan. 8 deadline. The ACA lists 10 general categories of EHB that all individual market plans must cover — such as emergency services and prescription drugs — allowing states to determine the specific services that are included in those broad categories. To do that, state officials select a benchmark plan among a list of HHS-approved options, and insurers then use that benchmark to design their benefits.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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