The three federal agencies in charge of implementing the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 want to know how small employers' use of stop-loss programs, or insurance for self-insured health plans, affects the market for fully insured small group coverage.

The agencies — the Internal Revenue Service, an arm of the U.S. Treasury Department; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and the Employee Benefits Security Administration, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department — are preparing to issue a 13-question request for information about health plan sponsors' use of stop-loss insurance.

The agencies are especially interested in learning about "the prevalence and consequences of stop-loss insurance at low attachment points," agency officials say in a preliminary version of the RFI.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.