45 CFR § 156.420 - Plan variations.

§ 156.420 Plan variations.

(a) Submission of silver plan variations. For each of its silver health plans that an issuer offers, or intends to offer in the individual market on an Exchange, the issuer must submit annually to the Exchange for certification prior to each benefit year the standard silver plan and three variations of the standard silver plan, as follows -

(1) For individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.305(g)(2)(i) of this subchapter, a variation of the standard silver plan with:

(i) An annual limitation on cost sharing no greater than the reduced maximum annual limitation on cost sharing specified in the annual HHS notice of benefit and payment parameters for such individuals, and

(ii) Other cost-sharing reductions such that the AV of the silver plan variation is 94 percent plus or minus the de minimis variation for a silver plan variation;

(2) For individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.305(g)(2)(ii) of this subchapter, a variation of the standard silver plan with:

(i) An annual limitation on cost sharing no greater than the reduced maximum annual limitation on cost sharing specified in the annual HHS notice of benefit and payment parameters for such individuals, and

(ii) Other cost-sharing reductions such that the AV of the silver plan variation is 87 percent plus or minus the de minimis variation for a silver plan variation; and

(3) For individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.305(g)(2)(iii) of this subchapter, a variation of the standard silver plan with:

(i) An annual limitation on cost sharing no greater than the reduced maximum annual limitation on cost sharing specified in the annual HHS notice of benefit and payment parameters for such individuals, and

(ii) Other cost-sharing reductions such that the AV of the silver plan variation is 73 percent plus or minus the de minimis variation for a silver plan variation (subject to § 156.420(h)).

(b) Submission of zero and limited cost sharing plan variations. For each of its health plans at any level of coverage that an issuer offers, or intends to offer in the individual market on an Exchange, the issuer must submit to the Exchange for certification the health plan and two variations of the health plan, as follows -

(1) For individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.350(a) of this subchapter, a variation of the health plan with all cost sharing eliminated; and

(2) For individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.350(b) of this subchapter, a variation of the health plan with no cost sharing on any item or service that is an EHB furnished directly by the Indian Health Service, an Indian Tribe, Tribal Organization, or Urban Indian Organization (each as defined in 25 U.S.C. 1603), or through referral under contract health services.

(c) Benefit and network equivalence in silver plan variations. A standard silver plan and each silver plan variation thereof must cover the same benefits and providers. Each silver plan variation is subject to all requirements applicable to the standard silver plan (except for the requirement that the plan have an AV as set forth in § 156.140(b)(2)).

(d) Benefit and network equivalence in zero and limited cost sharing plan variations. A QHP and each zero cost sharing plan variation or limited cost sharing plan variation thereof must cover the same benefits and providers. The out-of-pocket spending required of enrollees in the zero cost sharing plan variation of a QHP for a benefit that is not an essential health benefit from a provider (including a provider outside the plan's network) may not exceed the corresponding out-of-pocket spending required in the limited cost sharing plan variation of the QHP and the corresponding out-of-pocket spending required in the silver plan variation of the QHP for individuals eligible for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.305(g)(2)(i) of this subchapter, in the case of a silver QHP. The out-of-pocket spending required of enrollees in the limited cost sharing plan variation of the QHP for a benefit that is not an essential health benefit from a provider (including a provider outside the plan's network) may not exceed the corresponding out-of-pocket spending required in the QHP with no cost-sharing reductions. A limited cost sharing plan variation must have the same cost sharing for essential health benefits not described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section as the QHP with no cost-sharing reductions. Each zero cost sharing plan variation or limited cost sharing plan variation is subject to all requirements applicable to the QHP (except for the requirement that the plan have an AV as set forth in § 156.140(b)).

(e) Decreasing cost sharing and out-of-pocket spending in higher AV silver plan variations. The cost sharing or out-of-pocket spending required of enrollees under any silver plan variation of a standard silver plan for a benefit from a provider (including a provider outside the plan's network) may not exceed the corresponding cost sharing or out-of-pocket spending required in the standard silver plan or any other silver plan variation thereof with a lower AV.

(f) Minimum AV differential between 70 percent and 73 percent silver plan variations. Notwithstanding any permitted de minimis variation in AV for a health plan or permitted de minimis variation for a silver plan variation, the AVs of a standard silver plan and the silver plan variation thereof described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section must differ by at least 2 percentage points.

(g) Multi-state plans. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management will determine the time and manner for multi-State plans, as defined in § 155.1000(a) of this subchapter, to submit silver plan variations, zero cost sharing plan variations, and limited cost sharing plan variations.

(h) Notice. No later than November 1, 2015, for each plan variation that an issuer offers in accordance with the rules of this section, an issuer must provide a summary of benefits and coverage that accurately represents each plan variation consistent with the requirements set forth in § 147.200 of this subchapter.

[78 FR 15535, Mar. 11, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 13840, Mar. 11, 2014; 80 FR 10875, Feb. 27, 2015]