Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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States are starting to meet with their task forces to figure out if they want to go forward with implementing the provisions in the health care law. Some states want to appear that they are at least giving an effort in figuring out what to do instead of hoping for that the president loses in the November elections. Others are starting to move ahead and implement the program to have it ready by November 16.

IBM announced that their Curam Social Program Management Platform will be used to verify the eligibility for the 1.2 million Minnesotans seeking health coverage. Minnesota, like other states, will rely on multiple technology vendors. Minnesota already agreed to a $41 million contract with Maximus to create the state’s health exchange website. IBM will work as subcontractors for Maximus in setting this up. The exchange program needs to have a robust infrastructure to support their websites where customers and businesses can compare cost online and get their own health coverage. Minnesota points out that they must achieve certification on their design and development of the marketplace by January 2013. And they hope to have the marketplace up and running by October 2013. To accomplish these goals set out to avoid a federally ran exchange program, IBM will also be working with two other subcontractors: Connecture, which is based in Wisconsin, will provide technical support the enrollment and sales function; and EngagePoint, based out of Florida, will provide financial management module for billing, aggregation, and payment reconciliation. The design of the exchange program will design information systems to see which individuals qualify for tax credits, Medicaid, or cost-sharing reductions. 

Wyoming is still mulling over what to do about health care. According to Billings Gazette, a group selected to figure out the options for the state are still left with one question: How can an exchange program work for Wyoming? Lawmakers told the Wyoming Health Benefits Exchange Steering Committee back in March to stop their work on an exchange program until the health care ruling. Since then, the committee is trying to get all the information possible and they are trying to get some information from the federal government. But some are expressing their frustration with the lack of information given to them from the government. Sen. Ben Laden said that over the last two years, they have been “shooting at a moving target” trying to get the right amount of information needed to make their informed judgment. The committee will meet in the fall. With this deadline, they are hopeful that this would give the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee time to craft bills before their next session the following year. 

Idaho’s health care task force met to discuss the options going forward as well. Many leaders in Idaho are strongly against health care reform including Gov. Butch Otter. Nonetheless, they are still stuck on what their actions are going to be moving forward. One problem they are having is the inability to have credible numbers. Officials are having a hard time figuring out just how much money the exchange program will cost whether the state runs their own or the federal government steps in. In addition to being lost with exchange numbers, officials are unsure of the amount for a potential expansion of Medicaid. But there seems to be an overall agreement that even with those numbers, the minds are already made up about what to do with the provisions in this health care law.

Though states have their own prerogative, a union president voices his opinion on the idea of universal health care. The president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union argued that "rural residents often have the hardest time getting health insurance." People in these areas mostly are self-employed and have their own small businesses. They often pay way too much money on their coverage, so with this bill, it could help those who are self employed pay less for health insurance.

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




1 comment:

Lisa said...

Every thing is in the hands of obama and no use in states meeting. Healthcare Proposals