Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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Meetings continue to be conduct in states who are trying to figure out how much money will go towards setting up state-run exchanges. But there are some states (sixteen at the present time) are moving forward with their own exchange program. But one is head and shoulders ahead of the pack.

California is the farthest ahead of other states in creating their exchange program. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the state is so far ahead that they are going ahead and will have major marketing campaigns to attract Californians. California’s exchange marketplace is said to be like the Amazon of health care purchases. But there are some who are skeptical about the makeup of the exchange marketplace. They wonder if this will be something like the Department of Motors instead of a consumer superstore. John Graham, director of health care studies for Pacific Research Institute, states that he has yet to see “a government agency that works like Amazon.” The state is going on with the exchange program that will be an active purchaser. That means that state lawmakers will set the criteria, negotiate with insurers and decide who can offer plans. Out the sixteen states that created exchanges, only a few have this power. But some still believe that this will not be a good option. Some feel that this will actually limit the options for the consumers. But California will be moving forward with this plan and it will be able to go live October 2013.

The administration of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam met Tuesday to give their input on what to do with the new health care law. The meeting was centered round what health conditions should be covered under essential health benefit package that is included in the health care law. The essential health benefit package is set to include emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs among other things. Though essential health benefit package is not part of the expansion of Medicaid, however the tier in health insurance exchange must have sixty or seventy percent of the essential health benefit package. 

As a follow up to the meeting that was conducted in Idaho Monday, they have come up with a decision. The state has opted not to take federal money to start their state-run exchange program. The lawmakers were met with three options regarding state-run exchanges: they can apply for grant money; they can allow the federal government to set up their exchanges; or they can have an option of partnership of sharing it with the federal government. But no matter what the state does, there are some who say that there will be a need of money from the government. The next time the state can apply for a federal grant will be in November. 

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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