Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: To bring Washington state's requirements for nongrandfathered health plans into compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for review of adverse benefit determinations, and provide that all plans, both grandfathered and nongrandfathered, must continue to address grievances.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 284-43-410, 284-43-615, and 284-43-620.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 48.02.060, 48.43.530.
Other Authority: P.L. 111-148 (2010, as amended) and implementing regulations.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest; and that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: In guidance issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), states were advised that HHS would review state law as of July 31, 2011, to determine whether the state process was compliant with the ACA's requirements for review of adverse benefit determinations. If a state is not deemed compliant, as of January 1, 2012, the federal government preempts the state appeal process, and a state must reapply to use its process. Because carriers and health plans need time to amend plan documents and file them for approval with this office, and because the commissioner finds that the stability of the individual and small group markets is best served by being deemed compliant with federal law, adoption of these rules on an emergency basis is justified.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 12, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 2, Amended 2, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: July 29, 2011.
Reviser's note: The material contained in this filing exceeded the page-count limitations of WAC 1-21-040 for appearance in this issue of the Register. It will appear in the 11-17 issue of the Register.