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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publishing the following summary of proposed collections for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title: Consumer Assistance Program Grants; Use: Section 1002 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides for the establishment of consumer assistance (or ombudsman) programs, starting in FY 2010. Federal grants will support these programs. These programs will assist consumers with filing complaints and appeals, assist consumers with enrollment into health coverage, collect data on consumer inquiries and complaints to identify problems in the marketplace, educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities, and with the establishment of the new Exchange marketplaces, resolve problems with premium credits for Exchange coverage.

Importantly, these programs must provide detailed reporting on the types of problems and questions consumers may experience with health coverage, and how these problems and questions are resolved. In order to strengthen oversight, section 2793(d) of the ACA requires programs to report data to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “As a condition of receiving a grant under subsection (a), an office of health insurance consumer assistance or ombudsman program shall be required to collect and report data to the Secretary on the types of problems and inquiries encountered by consumers”.

Analysis of this data reporting will help identify patterns of practice in the insurance marketplaces and uncover suspected patterns of noncompliance. HHS must share program data reports with the Departments of Labor and Treasury, and State regulators. Program data also can offer CMS one indication of the effectiveness of State enforcement, affording opportunities to provide technical assistance and support to State insurance regulators and, in extreme cases, inform the need to trigger federal enforcement. Form Number: CMS-10333 (OMB#: 0938-1097); Frequency: Quarterly and Annually; Affected Public: Private Sector: State, Local, or Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 56; Total Annual Responses: 504; Total Annual Hours: 129-261 hours. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Eliza Bangit at 301-492-4219. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS' Web Site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995, or email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

In commenting on the proposed information collections please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in one of the following ways by September 25, 2012:

1. Electronically. You may submit your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) accepting comments.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address:

CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ____, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

Dated: July 24, 2012.

Martique Jones,

Director, Regulations Development Group, Division B, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

[FR Doc. 2012-18344 Filed 7-26-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P