Friday, September 28, 2012

Health Insurance Exchange Update: Friday, September 28th

In preparation for the Health Insurance Exchange launch next October in Colorado, three Denver based non-profits have spent the past few months collecting consumer based research data. The mission of the exchange is to give consumers the most affordable options, and lower premiums. It will also be a place to compare and contrast health plans, and review tax credits. Common suggestions from the public have included: live chat assistance from neutral and knowledgeable staff; a glossary to explain obscure insurance terms; concise, visual summaries of plans in layman’s terms; and involvement from consumer watchdog groups such as the Better Business Bureau. There will also be alternative options for people who are unfamiliar or do not wish to use the internet.

After receiving a $42.4 million federal grant, Minnesota continues to develop their new Health Insurance Exchange program. The state has received around 71 million to assist in building their program. "This grant allows us to continue the technical work needed to allow Minnesota to design and develop a state-based exchange," said Jim Schowalter, commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget, in a statement.  The state must complete a blueprint of the plan by November 16th.

The supreme court has ruled the new federal healthcare law to be constitutional, but under Propsition E citizens of Missouri will be able to cast votes on insurance exchanges. Proposition E on the November ballot would prohibit Gov. JayNixon or any state agency from setting up a health insurance exchange without the approval of the legislature or the state’s voters. However, the federal law will only allow this block to be temporary, by 2014 an exchange is required each state.

Want to learn more about the health insurance exchange? 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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