Since the establishment of the health insurance exchanges, there has been the lingering question of whether some so-called third-party payers (such as hospitals, health care providers, and commercial payers) would be permitted to assist with an individual’s premiums and/or other cost-sharing obligations (like deductibles, copayments, etc.).
Today, November 4, 2013, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) released additional guidance on this issue suggesting that such assistance is not permissible. According to the guidance, “HHS has significant concerns with this practice because it could skew the insurance risk pool and create an unlevel field” in the exchanges. The guidance concludes by stating that “HHS intends to monitor this practice and to take appropriate action, if necessary.”