H.R. 3200/Division A/Title I/Subtitle E

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==SUBTITLE E — GOVERNANCE==

Sec. 141. Health Choices Administration; Health Choices Commissioner.[edit]

(a) In General.—
There is hereby established, as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government, a Health Choices Administration (in this division referred to as the ``Administration´´).
(b) Commissioner.—
(1) In General.—
The Administration shall be headed by a Health Choices Commissioner (in this division referred to as the ``Commissioner´´) who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2) Compensation; Etc.—
The provisions of paragraphs (2), (5), and (7) of subsection (a) (relating to compensation, terms, general powers, rulemaking, and delegation) of section 702 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902) shall apply to the Commissioner and the Administration in the same manner as such provisions apply to the Commissioner of Social Security and the Social Security Administration.


Sec. 142. Duties and Authority of Commissioner.[edit]

(a) Duties.—
The Commissioner is responsible for carrying out the following functions under this division:
(1) Qualified Plan Standards.—
The establishment of qualified health benefits plan standards under this title, including the enforcement of such standards in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury.
(2) Health Insurance Exchange.—
The establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange under subtitle A of title II.
(3) Individual Affordability Credits.—
The administration of individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II, including determination of eligibility for such credits.
(4) Additional Functions.—
Such additional functions as may be specified in this division.
(b) Promoting Accountability.—
(1) In General.—
The Commissioner shall undertake activities in accordance with this subtitle to promote accountability of QHBP offering entities in meeting Federal health insurance requirements, regardless of whether such accountability is with respect to qualified health benefits plans offered through the Health Insurance Exchange or outside of such Exchange.
(2) Compliance Examination and Audits.—
(A) In General.—
The commissioner shall, in coordination with States, conduct audits of qualified health benefits plan compliance with Federal requirements. Such audits may include random compliance audits and targeted audits in response to complaints or other suspected non-compliance.
(B) Recoupment of costs in connection with examination and audits.—
The Commissioner is authorized to recoup from qualified health benefits plans reimbursement for the costs of such examinations and audit of such QHBP offering entities.
(c) Data Collection.—
The Commissioner shall collect data for purposes of carrying out the Commissioner’s duties, including for purposes of promoting quality and value, protecting consumers, and addressing disparities in health and health care and may share such data with the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
(d) Sanctions Authority.—
(1) In General.—
In the case that the Commissioner determines that a QHBP offering entity violates a requirement of this title, the Commissioner may, in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretary of Labor, provide, in addition to any other remedies authorized by law, for any of the remedies described in paragraph (2).
(2) Remedies.—
The remedies described in this paragraph, with respect to a qualified health benefits plan offered by a QHBP offering entity, are—
(A) civil money penalties of not more than the amount that would be applicable under similar circumstances for similar violations under section 1857(g) of the Social Security Act;
(B) suspension of enrollment of individuals under such plan after the date the Commissioner notifies the entity of a determination under paragraph (1) and until the Commissioner is satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur;
(C) in the case of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan, suspension of payment to the entity under the Health Insurance Exchange for individuals enrolled in such plan after the date the Commissioner notifies the entity of a determination under paragraph (1) and until the Secretary is satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur; or
(D) working with State insurance regulators to terminate plans for repeated failure by the offering entity to meet the requirements of this title.
(e) Standard Definitions of Insurance and Medical Terms.—
The Commissioner shall provide for the development of standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage, including insurance-related terms.
(f) Efficiency in Administration.—
The Commissioner shall issue regulations for the effective and efficient administration of the Health Insurance Exchange and affordability credits under subtitle C, including, with respect to the determination of eligibility for affordability credits, the use of personnel who are employed in accordance with the requirements of title 5, United States Code, to carry out the duties of the Commissioner or, in the case of sections 208 and 241(b)(2), the use of State personnel who are employed in accordance with standards prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to section 208 of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4728).


Sec. 143. Consultation and Coordination.[edit]

(a) Consultation.—
In carrying out the Commissioner’s duties under this division, the Commissioner, as appropriate, shall consult with at least with the following:
(1) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, State attorneys general, and State insurance regulators, including concerning the standards for insured qualified health benefits plans under this title and enforcement of such standards.
(2) Appropriate State agencies, specifically concerning the administration of individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II and the offering of Exchange-participating health benefits plans, to Medicaid eligible individuals under subtitle A of such title.
(3) Other appropriate Federal agencies.
(4) Indian tribes and tribal organizations.
(5) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners for purposes of using model guidelines established by such association for purposes of subtitles B and D.
(b) Coordination.—
(1) In General.—
In carrying out the functions of the Commissioner, including with respect to the enforcement of the provisions of this division, the Commissioner shall work in coordination with existing Federal and State entities to the maximum extent feasible consistent with this division and in a manner that prevents conflicts of interest in duties and ensures effective enforcement.
(2) Uniform Standards.—
The Commissioner, in coordination with such entities, shall seek to achieve uniform standards that adequately protect consumers in a manner that does not unreasonably affect employers and insurers.


Sec. 144. Health Insurance Ombudsman.[edit]

(a) In General.—
The Commissioner shall appoint within the Health Choices Administration a Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman who shall have expertise and experience in the fields of health care and education of (and assistance to) individuals.
(b) Duties.—
The Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman shall, in a linguistically appropriate manner—
(1) receive complaints, grievances, and requests for information submitted by individuals;
(2) provide assistance with respect to complaints, grievances, and requests referred to in paragraph (1), including—
(A) helping individuals determine the relevant information needed to seek an appeal of a decision or determination;
(B) assistance to such individuals with any problems arising from disenrollment from such a plan;
(C) assistance to such individuals in choosing a qualified health benefits plan in which to enroll; and
(D) assistance to such individuals in presenting information under subtitle C (relating to affordability credits); and
(3) submit annual reports to Congress and the Commissioner that describe the activities of the Ombudsman and that include such recommendations for improvement in the administration of this division as the Ombudsman determines appropriate. The Ombudsman shall not serve as an advocate for any increases in payments or new coverage of services, but may identify issues and problems in payment or coverage policies.