Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the latest news on health insurance exchanges, there seems to be a problem with exactly who should have the coverage and the ever increasing feeling of the money being contributed to the coverages for residents.

In Massachusetts, a New York Times article discusses a system in place for health insurance exchanges. There was a legislation passed in 2006 called the Health Connector. Under that law, most residents are required to purchase health insurance and it creates an online marketplace to simplify buying a coverage plan that the residents can afford. Only is Utah the only other state that had health insurance exchange before the Affordable Care Act was mandated.  Last year, we had the chance to sit down with Glen Shor of the Massachusetts Health Exchange and discuss the exchange.  Listen to the podcast here.

But the fear that Health Connector has is that they need more people paying full premium price for their coverage. Of the 224,000 people insured through Connector, 82% pay next to nothing because of government subsidies. However, if the ACA legislature is upheld, then those low income households could shift to Medicaid under law’s expansion system.

But there is still a pressing issue with healthcare that lies with the possibility of covering immigrants.

In Oregon, Medicaid and other lawmakers tend to ignore the issue of providing primary medical care to immigrants. Immigrants may be able to find work (low-waged work at that) however the employer-sponsored coverage’s would not apply to them according to The Lund Report.  
Despite the fear of paying for such exchanges and the problem of coverage for immigrants, some states are still continuing to develop plans to implement the exchanges necessary by the January 2014 start date, presuming the ACA is upheld.

In Washington, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plan to develop verification data, services to support coverage and eligibility insurance exchanges and seeks industry information about applications that are available, according to HealthCare IT News. In addition, due to limited access to employer-sponsored health insurance and restrictions with Medicaid, 47 percent of immigrants are uninsured. ACA would increase options for some immigrants and citizens.

In Arkansas, the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families developed a report entitled "Making Sure the Health Insurance Exchange Works for Families." The report will be used to help residents through the exchange process based on their income and what plan fits for them, according to a blog post on the Arkansas Times. 

This November, the Health Insurance Exchange Congress will be held November 13-14, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  Here, state officials and health plans with the only opportunity to come together to discuss PPACA and strategize on how to make this a successful opportunity for all.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1710BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate!

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