The federal government will directly enforce Affordable Care Act regulations in Wyoming when key pieces of the federal health care reform law take effect in January.
Federal officials made the decision after learning the Wyoming Department of Insurance lacks the authority to enforce the rules.
The decision means the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will investigate consumer complaints that relate to the federal insurance regulations, such as the ban against denying people coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
Wyoming's own Insurance Department will keep its authority over state rules.
Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Hirsig tells the Casper Star-Tribune that his agency will still work with consumers to resolve problems.
Dan Neal, of the Equality State Policy Center, says federal enforcement will mean better protections for consumers.