Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I have a new journal article out that describes a provision in the ACA that is not getting much focus. It relates to new "Multi-State Qualified Health Plans (MSQHPs)", private insurance plans available on a nationwide basis (in each and every state). A section of the Affordable Care Act authorizing these new national MSQHPs appeared in the Senate version of the ACA as an alternative to the hotly-debated public option in the House version of the bill. Since the Senate bill became the vehicle for passage of the legislation when the House agreed to pass the Senate version of the bill carte blanche to assure that some version of health reform would become law in 2010, the MSQHPs are now law of the land. The ACA directs the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to negotiate with private insurers to offer at least two MSQHPs everywhere in the country. At least one of these must be a not-for-profit plan. The ACA specifies that OPM is to implement the provisions for these new plans in a manner similar to that it uses when contracting with carriers for plans offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Our paper and another paper outlines what we might expect from these plans. Find my paper available for download here.