More than 700 pages of healthcare rules released

ADVERTISEMENT
The rules will become effective on May 11, and HHS will take comments on an interim final regulation regarding cost-savings programs and government risk pooling for 60 days after those rules are published.

The other rule is a proposal to implement the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), making it effective on Jan. 1, 2015.

The change in the effective date is due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services receiving comments that warned of the difficulties in implementing the program.

The SHOPs will be integrated into state insurance exchanges as a service to small employers that choose to join.

In 2014, federally run SHOP exchanges will only allow employers to offer one plan to their workers. Employers will be able to choose from multiple plans, offering similar benefit levels, beginning in 2015. And states that run their own SHOP exchanges rather than deferring to the federal government are free to offer multiple plans as early as 2014.

Comments on the SHOP proposals are due by April 11.

— Elise Viebeck and Sam Baker contributed to this report. It was updated on March 20.