WSR 12-12-064




[ Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2012-17 -- Filed June 5, 2012, 11:14 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Designation of the Washington state essential health benefits package benchmark plan for benefit years beginning January 1, 2014.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 87, Laws of 2012.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Legislation enacted during the 2012 session directs the commissioner to designate by rule the small group plan with the largest enrollment, as the benchmark plan for purposes of defining the essential health benefits package for health benefit plans issued between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implements the Affordable Care Act through regulation and guidance. HHS permits states to designate their essential health benefits package benchmark plan. This rule will be coordinated with HHS by monitoring HHS published requirements and guidance associated with the topic.

The Washington health exchange does not regulate the essential health benefits benchmark plan designation, but will use the information in planning the exchange. The commissioner will coordinate with the exchange by keeping its staff informed as the rule making progresses.

Process for Developing New Rule: Submit written comments by July 8, 2012.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Meg L. Jones, P.O. Box 40258, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 725-7170, fax (360) 586-3109, e-mail

June 5, 2012

Mike Kreidler

Insurance Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office