HHS-OIG recently released their 2015 Health Reform Oversight Plan. The agency plans to hone in on the Affordable Care Act during 2015, with “primary focus” on the health insurance marketplaces.
Health Insurance Marketplaces
OIG’s Oversight Plan states that their marketplace work will aim to answer questions in four key areas:
Payments: Are taxpayer funds being expended correctly for their intended purposes?
OIG plans on continuing their oversight into the accuracy and appropriateness of Federal expenditures with reviews of Financial Assistance Payments; Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) Loan Program; Establishment grants; Navigator grants, and payments to Federal contractors.
Eligibility: Are the right people getting the right benefits?
To ensure accuracy in eligibility determinations, OIG is conducting reviews of marketplace enrollment safeguards, eligibility verifications for premium tax credits, and resolution of inconsistencies in federally facilitated Marketplace (FFM) applicant data. Further, OIG states that they are considering new work on emerging issues, such as Marketplaces’ verification of employer information. “We may also review eligibility for hardship waivers if that emerges as a significant issue as this year’s tax season progresses,” they state. Additional areas for oversight might include reviews of the second open enrollment period.
Management and Administration: Is HHS managing and administering Marketplace programs effectively and efficiently?
To assess the management and administration of Marketplace programs, OIG is currently reviewing HHS’s management and implementation of the FFM from enactment of the ACA through the second open enrollment period and continued oversight of Federal contractors.
Security: Is consumers’ personal information safe?
OIG’s security focused reviews include assessing FFM security controls over consumer information, including personally identifiable information. OIG will also review information security controls at selected State-based Marketplaces. OIG states they are working closely with HHS and law enforcement partners in other agencies to monitor for reports of cybersecurity threats and consumer fraud incidents and take appropriate investigative actions
Health Reform in Other HHS Programs
“Although we are devoting substantial attention to the Marketplaces…OIG is also conducting and developing oversight work addressing reforms in other programs,” their report states. These include Medicaid expansion and services, Medicare payment and delivery reform, Medicare and Medicaid program integrity, and public health programs.
Under the Medicare and Medicaid Program Integrity work, OIG states that they “are examining the implementation and effectiveness of provisions of Title VI of the ACA designed to strengthen transparency and program integrity in Medicare and Medicaid,” including reviews of enhanced provider screening systems, provider payment suspensions, provider terminations, and managed care encounter data.
OIG also states: “We will consider oversight of CMS’ new Open Payments Database and other Title VI transparency initiatives.”
Target Timeframes for Issuing Reports on Ongoing Marketplace Work
Winter 2015: OIG looks to be focused on payments in the early part of 2015:
- Accuracy of Aggregate Payments to Qualified Health Plan Issuers for Advanced Premium Tax Credits and Cost Sharing Reductions, and Effectiveness of Related Internal Controls (Payments)
- Payments to Federally Facilitated Marketplace Contractors (Payments)
- Information System Security Controls at State-Based Marketplaces – CA (Security)
- Review of Affordable Care Act Establishment Grants for State Marketplace – MD (Payments)
- Programmatic Justification for CMS’ Involvement in Premium Tax Credit Obligations Under the ACA (Payments)
- CMS’ Internal Controls Over Advance Premium Tax Credit Obligations and Payments Under the ACA (Payments)
- Oversight of Federally Facilitated Marketplace Contractors (Management and Administration)
- Review of Affordable Care Act Establishment Grants for State Marketplaces (Payments)
- CO-OP Loan Program-Eligibility Status and Use of Startup and Solvency Loans – 6-month period (Payments)
- Enrollment Safeguards at Additional State Marketplaces (Eligibility)
- Information System Security Controls at State-Based Marketplaces – CO (Security)
- CMS Implementation of Security Controls Over Consumer Information Obtained in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (Security)
- Review of the Federally Facilitated Marketplace’s Eligibility Verifications for Premium Tax Credits (Eligibility)
- Implementation of the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (Case Study) (Management and Administration)
- CO-OP Loan Program-Eligibility Status and Use of Startup and Solvency Loans – 12-month period (Payments)
- Review of Grant Awards to Navigators in Federally Facilitated or State Partnership Marketplaces (Payments)
- Information System Security Controls at State-Based Marketplaces – NY (Security)