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Healthcare Reform

CMS Issues 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

On May 5, 2021, CMS released the Final Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022, along with an accompanying fact sheet. The regulations are intended for health insurers and the marketplace but include important information that also affects large employers and self-insured group health plans. The effective date is July 6, 2021.

For 2022, the out-of-pocket maximum applicable to insured and self-insured plans is $8,700 for self-only coverage (up from $8,550) and $17,400 for family coverage (up from $17,100). This limit is distinct from the 2022 IRS out-of-pocket maximums applicable to HSA-compatible high deductible health plans (HDHPs), which are $7,050 for self-only coverage (up from $7,000) and $14,100 for family coverage (up from $14,000).

As previously reported in the 2021 Benefit and Payment Parameters Rule, effective with the 2022 MLR reporting year, insurers are to deduct prescription drug rebates and any other price concessions received by the insurer (or any entity providing pharmacy benefit management services to the insurer) from the incurred claim amount. The 2022 final rules clarify that prescription coupons, rebates and other concessions received directly by the insured are excluded for this purpose as they did not benefit the insurer.

HHS has long had a policy that provides a special enrollment period in the health insurance marketplace for an individual who loses a COBRA premium subsidy. The final rules codify this practice, which applies not only to the current ARPA COBRA subsidies but also to an employer-provided subsidy. The individual will have a 60-day period following the end of the subsidy to enroll in individual coverage both on and off the marketplace.

Interestingly, CMS did not finalize a proposed rule that would have required all health insurance exchanges to verify at least 75% of new enrollments coming through a special enrollment period. The reasoning provided was that it was believed to be overly burdensome on consumers and the state exchanges. Similarly, CMS stated that they will not take enforcement action against state exchanges that do not perform random certification of employer-sponsored coverage for individuals applying for individual coverage and a premium tax credit. This is required by the statute and regulations, but CMS will continue the nonenforcement policy through at least 2022.

Employers may find this annual guidance helpful in designing their plan benefit offerings.

2022 Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule »
2022 Benefit and Payment Parameters Fact Sheet »

View this article on NFP.com.

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