Blues plans call for reform rules' release by 2012

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is urging the federal government to release all regulations required under the health reform law by 2012. Kris Haltmeyer, BCBSA executive director of legislative and regulatory policy, says that without the regulations, health plans don't have enough information to implement major reform changes, reports Kaiser Health News. Additionally, developing new health plans typically takes about two years, but Blues plans can't invest in the appropriate information technology systems until they know what the insurance reforms are going to be, what essential health benefits package must be included in those plans, and how low-income tax credits will be administered. Haltmeyer, however, acknowledges that asking the Department of Health & Human Services to release the regulations by 2012 is a challenge. "Given the range of things that have to be put out for comment, I'm worried they won't be able to do that," he said. Article