To help with implementation, HHS has established a new office charged with implementing many of the health insurance provisions in the new health care reform law. The Office of Consumer Information and Oversight became operational on April 19, 2010.
The office is responsible for ensuring compliance with the new insurance market rules, such as the prohibitions on rescissions and on pre-existing condition exclusions for children that take effect this year. The office will:
- Oversee the new medical loss ratio rules;
- Assist states in reviewing insurance rates;
- Provide guidance and oversight for the state-based insurance exchanges;
- Administer the temporary high-risk pool program and the early retiree reinsurance program; and
- Compile and maintain data for an internet portal providing information on insurance options.
The office also will work closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “to ensure effective coordination between public and private insurance,” according to HHS.
One goal is to provide consumers with comprehensive information on coverage options currently available so they may make informed choices on the best health insurance for themselves and their families.