Earlier in the week Atkins said the release of the rule doesn't mean the state will be able to quickly complete it's own report.
"Even when they publish those final rules, we certainly have to go through them with a fine-tooth comb," Atkins said.
The massive report is "pretty far down in the weeds" at some points but very important, said Perry Bryant, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. The nonprofit is comprised of health care professionals and supports implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The state will go through the final rules and create a plan, which will then be available for public comment, Atkins said.
Once they receive comment, they must submit them to CMS for final approval before they can be implemented, Atkins said.
Perry said the state doesn't actually have to ask for public approval, only present the plans to the Medicaid Services Fund Advisory Council.
The council, which meets quarterly, has its next meeting this Friday. Atkins is scheduled to provide a health care reform update.
"It's not like we have a choice whether to (implement it), it's the law of the land," Bryant said, referring to the Affordable Care Act. "The only question is whether we do it well or we do it poorly."
Atkins said the bureau was preparing for the rules to be released so it could finish the plans as soon as possible. The newly eligible may begin enrolling Oct. 1, with services available beginning Jan. 1.
Bryant said it's unknown whether the state can get everything done in time.
The federal government already announced it would delay the Affordable Care Act mandate that larger employers provide insurance to workers. In the report released Friday, CMS hints other aspects might be delayed as well.
"Finally, this final rule provides notice that we are considering, for purposes of the initial open enrollment period . . . whether various provisions of the Medicaid and CHIP regulations should be effective October 1, 2013, or whether a later effective date is appropriate," the report states.
A summary and the full report are available at http://tinyurl.com/m4acw3t.
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