HHS has made its final (in some cases “interim final”) Exchange regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) public.  They are to be formally published in the Federal Register on March 27.  The 644 pages of the HHS Regulations Final Rule on Health Plan Exchanges 032712.pdf cover standards for states to follow in setting up exchanges for individuals and small businesses to obtain insurance coverage.  More information will be forthcoming as the regulations are more closely examined, but a couple of key points are 1. that states must apparently have both individual and Small Employer Health Care Option Plans (“SHOP”) exchanges; 2. that multi-employer welfare (“MEWA”) plan products and church-based mutual-aid type health plans will not necessarily be entitled to be offered on exchanges (which in turn means that those who purchase such plans would be ineligible for subsidies); and 3. that the January 2013 date for approval of state exchanges by HHS will not be changed.  HHS believes that meeting the October 2013 date for open enrollment requires that the plans be approved or rejected by January of that year.