States Finalize Health Insurance Exchange Decisions

Private Health Insurance Exchange: In November President Obama was re-elected as president of the United State; This meant we were moving forward with Health Care Reform, and Obamacare. In November HHS announce an extension to the state exchange decision. It is now the week after the Friday December 14 deadline, where do we stand?

The States final decision will result in the federal government being involved in at least 30 exchanges. This will cover about 56% of the U.S. population. The federal government will run 24 exchanges completely, and will have a partnership with six states. Nineteen states will run their own exchanges.

According to the CBO the exchanges will help an estimated 25 million Americans get health coverage. Ultimately the states that are setting up their own exchange will have the added benefit of being able to focus their exchanges to align with local regulations. “Local regulation provides better consumer protections and better opportunity to ensure that the health plans that are offered are appropriate for the market,” said Kim Holland, a former Oklahoma insurance commissioner

While many consumer advocates, regulators, insurers and healthcare experts had hoped each state would operate its own exchange, rather than cede control to the federal government, this is simply not the case. It is unknown what effect this will have on the quality and resilience of the exchanges setup through the federal government for the States that have opted out of setting up their own exchange, additionally the federal government plans to charge a 3.5% fee on plans sold through exchanges it operates.

Even consumer advocates in states with traditionally weaker regulation initially pushed for local control. “We really hoped Texas would run its own exchange,” said Stacey Pogue, a senior policy analyst at the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which now favors a federal exchange in Texas because Gov. Rick Perry is hostile to the law.

Other States, states predominantly led by Democratic governors, have embraced the law fully and have already received exchange proposal approval from HHS. These States include

Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington

 

Please review our State Exchange Decision map, for a full list of the decisions.

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