ERIC Comments to CMS on Section 1332 Waiver Guidance

Today, ERIC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in response to its guidance related to Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was released on October 22. For ERIC’s summary of the guidance, click here. The main issue for ERIC and its member companies is the change to state authorization legislation. Previously, states were required to enact or amend state laws to authorize someone, usually the Insurance Commissioner, to apply for a waiver. The latest guidance eliminates this requirement, instead providing that a state regulation or executive order will suffice, so long as there is a law already on the books authorizing enforcement of the ACA. This part of the new guidance will have the most impact on ERIC’s advocacy efforts, as waiver application efforts could begin without any forewarning legislation being introduced, and could move much more quickly and with much less debate or stakeholder input.

In our comments, we stressed that if state authorization legislation is no longer required to apply for a waiver, evaluation of waiver applications for compliance with ERISA will be of utmost importance. You can read our comments in their entirety by clicking here.

Thank you to those that contributed their ideas for our comment letter. Much activity is expected in the 2019 state legislative sessions on this topic, and ERIC will continue to advocate on behalf of our member companies so that employer-sponsored plans are not used as the payfor in these waivers.

Article by Adam Greathouse, Health Care Policy Senior Associate