By: Steve Larsen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.
One of the most important responsibilities that we at HHS have is listening to you—the American people. That’s why we are announcing today that we will extend the comment period for the July 15, 2011 proposed rules on the Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Thisaligns the comment period with another set of Exchange-related proposed rules that were issued on August 17, 2011. Now, instead of some being due on September 28, 2011, all comments on the Exchange-related proposals are due on October 31, 2011.
Affordable Insurance Exchanges are State-based marketplaces designed to make buying private health coverage easier and more affordable and give you the same kinds of choices as Members of Congress. Starting in 2014, Exchanges will allow you to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, and enroll in a qualified health plan that best fits the needs of you and your family. It will be a one-stop-shop for all of your health insurance needs. And that’s why we want to make sure that we give you the opportunity to consider all of the regulations together when you tell us what you think about them.
This extension of the official comment period follows a robust outreach campaign to receive your comments on these rules. We talked to many different types of stakeholders about the proposed rules, including State officials, consumer advocates and health plans who have been attending our regional listening sessions to tell us what they think. But we need to hear from you officially—so please submit your thoughts and ideas via Regulations.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.