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.