PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
OFFICE OF THE
[Insurance Commissioner Matter R 2020-06—Filed May 27, 2020, 11:43 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Implementation of SHB 2338 (chapter 228, Laws of 2020), prohibiting discrimination in health care coverage.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The provisions of SHB 2338 amend Washington state's mental health parity law. Rules adopted to implement the original mental health parity law need to be amended to be consistent with the provisions of SHB 2338.
The standard for rule making with respect to section 9 of the law, which addresses protection from discrimination in health plans, is as follows:
|Unless preempted by federal law, the commissioner shall adopt any rules necessary to implement this section,
consistent with federal rules and guidance in effect on January 1, 2017, implementing the patient protection and
affordable care act.|
Existing rules adopted to implement RCW 48.43.0128
will need to be amended to be consistent with SHB 2338, and new rules may be required. Such rules will facilitate implementation of the law by ensuring that all affected entities understand their rights and obligations under the new law.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The federal HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Labor are the federal agencies tasked with implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). State insurance regulators also have authority to enforce MHPAEA, as well as to enact and implement their own mental health parity laws, as Washington state has done. These federal agencies will have an opportunity to participate in this rule-making proceeding.
Process for Developing New Rule: Comments due by June 17, 2020.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jane Beyer, 302 Sid Snyder Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, phone 360-725-7043, fax 360-586-3109, TTY 360-586-0241, email email@example.com, website www.insurance.wa.gov.
May 27, 2020