In the FFE agent-broker sections of the new regulations, CMS officials have, for example, suggested that a Web-based broker that sells FFE coverage must post all of the cost and quality information they get from exchanges and QHPs but need not go out of their way to get extra data.
If an ordinary, brick-and-mortar producer is helping a consumer, the producer could use either the FFE's website or the QHP issuer's website to help a customer sign up for coverage.
Officials also have talked about the grounds an FFE's managers might have for terminating an exchange producer's contract, and the procedures an exchange producer would use to notify the FFE of an intent to break up with the FFE.
The paper gives states with an FFE coming a lot to consider with respect to the state insurance department's involvement in the federal program, and suggests there is still much uncertainty.
In other states, the FFE will review network adequacy data submitted in the qualified health plan (QHP) issuer application.
The working group said that if a state did not review policy forms for compliance with federal law requirements, an FFE may do so as part of the QHP certification process.
FFE states may want to consider to attempt to meet federal standards and review the network adequacy of QHPs, and whether to apply these standards outside the exchange as well, according to the paper.
If the act takes effect as written and works as drafters expect, a state could choose between setting up an exchange, participating in a multi-state exchange consortium, or letting the federal government provide exchange services, or FFE services, for its residents.
"HHS expects that licensed agents and brokers will continue to assist consumers in accessing health insurance, and will work with agents and brokers to promote enrollment through the exchange," officials say in the FFE guidance.
HHS will provide licensed agents and brokers with a portal to the FFE Web site if those producers meet HHS standards, officials say.