Today, the FAH commented on the Administration’s action, replacing existing guidance for Section 1332 waivers that give states an opportunity to opt out of certain requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The newly named State Relief and Empowerment Waivers will apply to waivers for plan years 2020 and later.
The October guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury (“the Departments”) loosens the application of the existing statutory standards so that states can more easily receive approval for implementing waivers under the new guidance.
In its comments, the FAH acknowledged the need for a support of state flexibility and innovation while at the same time, affirming that the Departments have an obligation to ensure that the statutory stanrdards are met and that individuals seeking coverage in those markets are protected. “Unfortunately,” the FAH wrote, “the revisions described in the October notice are incongruent with the statute and as such, we oppose them.”
The FAH goes on to argue that the new guidance would likely result in the loss of comprehensive coverage in states that choose to pursue waivers under the guidance. Additionally, the letter notes that undermining comprehensive coverage will have a negative impact on the health of the individual market.
The FAH’s comment letter can be viewed here.