Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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House Republicans are going to vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tomorrow. It will most likely be ruled in favor of repeal but they need the Senate. The House’s motion will be dead on arrival. Besides the battle still being waged on Capitol Hill, there is a state that is having internal issues.  

Missouri's state officials are arguing over the semantics of their ballot summary. The state are holding a vote in November on a bill that would stop Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon from setting up health insurance exchanges without the consent of state legislature or state voters. So now the Lt. Gov. Peter King said that he will file a lawsuit citing that the summary is biased.

So with staunch opponents of the bill will wait until the November election to do anything and a state fighting amongst themselves, other states are beginning to set in motion their own exchanges. 

In Indiana, JA Benefits, a benefits provider, has begun creating their own health insurance exchange. Called JA Exchange, the exchange will help individuals compare options. The exchange will receive quotes in seconds by filling in the right information. Private exchanges like JA Exchange will be the force in the marketplace. 

Kansas seems to be in a bit of a bind with the outcome of the ruling according to Kansas Watchdog. Gov. Sam Brownback decided not to accept the $31.5 million provided by the federal government to establish exchanges. He and 22 other governors involved in the lawsuit against the bill banked on the Supreme Court striking down the law. And that did not work out too well. So now what? That is the question the governor is up against at the moment. A scramble would be on to create the exchanges themselves but the Head of Insurance Department Accident and Health Division Linda Sheppard believes that there are three choices to be made. One choice is to use the amount of time they have left to set up their own exchanges. There second choice is to cut a deal with the federal Health and Human Services regulators. With this, the federal government will set the rules and then Kansas would enforce. The third choice is to allow federal regulators to run the exchanges. 

Delaware has one foot in and one foot out. Democratic Gov. Jack Markell is unsure whether they want to expand Medicaid in their state. And since the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not withhold money if a state does not expand Medicaid, the state is weighing their options. As far as setting up the exchanges, the process is underway. But because of the state’s small size, it intends to have federal regulators take over operational duties. 

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.  For more information on this year's agenda, download the program here.  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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