Navigation Links
Feds Take Lead on Health Insurance Exchanges
Date:3/9/2013

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- More than half the states in the nation have decided to let the federal government take on the task of creating one of the most complex yet vital parts of the massive 2010 health reform law, which was championed by President Barack Obama.

In 26 states, the federal government will set up so-called health insurance exchanges, where many Americans can shop for coverage beginning with open enrollment this October. Most of the states handing off exchange duties to Washington are led by Republican governors, including heavily populated states like Florida and Texas.

Only 17 states and the District of Columbia plan to create and run their own exchanges, and the remaining seven states will do it in partnership with the federal government, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's latest count.

Colorado, one of the first states to enact health exchange legislation, expects to cover 300,000 uninsured residents through its state-run exchange, Connect for Health Colorado.

"I think we feel strongly that we have certain opportunities and challenges that we understand best, and so it does make sense for us to create a system that really is going to work for the stakeholders in Colorado," said Dede de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative in Denver.

Some states had placed exchange-building on the back burner as they awaited last June's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the health reform law, as well as the outcome of the November presidential election.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage of Maine was among those who, in the wake of President Obama's reelection, decided not to implement a state exchange.

Maine has an estimated 133,000 uninsured people, a number that may swell by as many as 44,000, according to Joseph Ditre, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care in Augusta.

"We are hopeful that the [federally facilitated exchange] will enable a vigorous outreach and enrollment campaign," Ditre said. Still, he added that Maine's decision to forgo a state-run exchange means the state won't play an active role in negotiating with health plans to keep rates down and improve quality -- at least not immediately.

White House says exchanges will be ready by Oct. 1

State-based health insurance exchanges are one of the mainstays of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," for expanding access to health insurance coverage. An estimated 25 million people are expected to gain health coverage through the exchanges by 2022, substantially slashing the ranks of the nation's 48.8 million uninsured.

The exchanges are intended to serve as a virtual "marketplace," where consumers and small businesses can access online health plan descriptions and data on quality and consumer satisfaction. All exchanges must have a toll-free hotline that people can call to get their coverage questions answered, and trained "navigators" to assist with the enrollment process.

About 18 million people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,960 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four) may qualify for premium assistance through the exchanges, according to the Families USA website.

To encourage greater state involvement in the exchanges, the federal government had proposed partnering with states to get the job done, but that option lacked broad appeal. Only four additional states -- Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and West Virginia -- applied for a partnership by the Feb. 15 deadline.

On March 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conditionally approved those four partnerships. Earlier, HHS had conditionally approved partnerships with three states: Arkansas, Delaware and Illinois.

New Jersey is one state that nixed a state-federal partnership, opting instead for a federally run exchange. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Republican Gov. Chris Christie said his state was committed to complying with the Affordable Care Act, "but only in a manner that is the most efficient and effective for the residents of New Jersey and the businesses that will carry the costs of this new program." He concluded that "federal operation of the exchange is the most responsible choice" for the state.

Despite the task ahead, the Obama administration insists that it will get the exchanges up and running by Oct. 1.

"No matter where a qualified consumer lives, he or she will have access to coverage through a marketplace," Sebelius said in a recent blog post.

State vs. federal exchange

Consumers looking to buy coverage through that marketplace may not be able to tell whether it's a state or federal effort.

"I think it will look like a state exchange to anyone. They won't necessarily know," said Sonya Schwartz, project director of State Refor(u)m, an online network for health reform implementation developed by the National Academy for State Health Policy in Washington, D.C.

There will be clear distinctions, though. Some state exchanges have adopted an "active purchaser" model, meaning they will limit consumer choices to health plans offering the best value. The federally facilitated exchanges, by contrast, will include all qualified health plans in a state.

"The other thing is, I think that consumers do probably have a better chance of getting their complaints or problems addressed in state-exchange states," Schwartz said. In states with federally facilitated exchanges, she explained, "people will still go to their state officials, and officials won't really know how they can help, necessarily."

State-run exchanges may also have a leg up when it comes to spreading the word to people who need health insurance. "Everybody's going to have to be engaged in reaching those people and educating them," de Percin said.

More information

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has mapped out state exchange decisions.

SOURCES: Dede de Percin, executive director, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, Denver; Joseph Ditre, Esq., executive director, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Augusta, Maine; Sonya Schwartz, J.D., project director, State Refor(u)m, National Academy for State Health Policy, Washington, D.C.; statehealthfacts.org; U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Washington, D.C.; New Jersey, Office of the Governor, Trenton; HealthCare.gov; Census.gov; familiesusa.org


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Laredo Medical Center Selects STi Healthcare an Enterprise Archiving Firm to Migrate Over 100,000 Patient Records
2. UTHealth researchers say more rapid test for Group B strep successful
3. Health Benefits of Marriage Mostly Apply to Those Already Healthy
4. NIST panel expands recommendations for use of electronic health records in pediatrics
5. Emotion-health connection not limited to industrialized nations
6. South Jersey Health and Body Explains the Dangers of Diabetes and What You Must Know if You are Overweight
7. Abacus International Expands Annual Partnership With HealthEconomics.Com
8. ReNew Life Launches Norwegian Gold EPA 1000 Omega, the Highest Potency EPA-only Fish Oil Supplement Sold in Health Food Stores
9. Vegans and Eco-Conscious Shoppers Have a New Option in Natural Body Care Products; Zion Health's Detox Clay Mask Is Now Available Online at SwansonVitamins.com
10. Victory Healthcare Announces New Medical Center to Be Built in Fort Worth
11. UTHealth research: Low incidence of venous insufficiency in MS
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: