California Healthline; Provider Groups Slam CMS Rule That Grants Payment Grace Period

Several health care provider groups in recent weeks have intensified their criticism of a CMS rule that will benefit patients who fail to pay their premiums on time, noting that the regulation puts them at an elevated risk of providing services for which they would not get reimbursed, Modern Healthcare reports.

Current regulations on late and outstanding premium payments vary by states, with some states allowing insurers to drop consumers’ policies without advanced noticed. Other states require insurers to offer a 30-day grace period before dropping customers’ plans. If coverage is dropped for nonpayment, providers must work directly with patients to collect payments, according to Jennifer Kowalski, vice president of health reform practices at Avalere Health.

Details of CMS Rule

Under the CMS rule, which was released in March, consumers will get a 90-day grace period to pay their outstanding premiums before insurers are permitted to drop their coverage. The rule will apply to consumers in all states who purchase subsidized coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. According to Kowalski, the new rule would benefit about 80% consumers in the exchanges.

The rule also requires insurers to reimburse providers during the first 30 days of the 90-day grace period. If a consumer still fails to make a payment after 90 days and his or her coverage is dropped, insurers are not be required to pay for claims incurred during the last 60 days of the grace period.

Provider Groups Criticize Rule, Take Up Issue With CMS


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