Labor Day Sunday

Thanks to Alexandr Hovhannisyan for sharing their work on Unsplash.

OPM published in the September 3, 2021, Federal Register an Interim Final Rule extending FEHB coverage to 125 Indian tribal “297 grant” schools as required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”). This CAA provision “is expected to make FEHB accessible to approximately 4,328 tribal employees of [the newly] entitled schools.”

This CAA provision expanded an Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provision that offered Indian tribal employers the opportunity to enroll their employees in FEHB.

Tribal employers began purchasing FEHB for their employees on March 22, 2012 with coverage effective on May 1, 2012. As of April 2021, 125 tribes participate in the FEHB Program, and there are 32,178 tribal employees for a total of 64,208 covered lives.

The FEHBlog was interested to read that OPM already has contracted with some of the newly entitled schools.

Four eligible tribally controlled schools elected to begin purchasing FEHB coverage for their tribal employees on May 1, 2021 with an insurance coverage effective date of May 1, 2021. As of July 2021, 7 tribally controlled schools have enrolled in the FEHB Program

Smooth sailing. The public comment deadline on the interim final rule is November 2, 2021.

From the holiday weekend miscellany department

  • Healthcare Finance News reports that “Aetna has agreed to team up with Autism Comprehensive Educational Services to establish an Institute for Quality targeted toward individuals and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder, among other special needs. Through the new national agreement, effective August 1, Aetna members now have access to value-based autism care from ACES clinical providers.” Smart move.
  • The American Hospital Association offers some reassuring words about the No Surprises Act. The FEHBlog expects that the law will protect consumers without disrupting healthcare networks but will increase administrative costs at least for 2022 as the out-of-network providers test the independent dispute resolution (“IDR”) system. Other CAA Division BB provisions scheduled for implementation after 2022, e.g., transitional care, provider non-discrimination rule making, do pose risks to provider networks.
  • On the technology front, Fierce Healthcare discusses Apple’s plans for its health app and the Wall Street Journal tells us that “The next frontier of at-home health tracking is flush with data: the toilet.” In nothing sacred?

Have a restful Labor Day.

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