Health Insurance Exchanges on the Horizon

Starting Jan. 1, 2014 all states must have fully operational health insurance exchanges in place. Health insurance exchanges, also known as HIXs or Marketplaces, will be a one-stop shop for all individuals and small businesses to compare and choose among an array of affordable, comprehensive options, and purchase health insurance plans. The states have been preparing for these exchanges since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010 and have had a choice to opt for a state-based exchange, federally facilitated exchange or a partnership exchange. The exchanges will certify and offer plans that cover at a minimum the 10 categories of essential health benefits (EHBs) required as part of the ACA. The proposed rule on the EHBs was released in November 2012 and the final rule released Feb. 20, 2013.

In mid-March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) kicked off the next phase of their stakeholder engagement on the new Health Insurance Marketplace with an open, national conference call. During this call, CMS discussed their plan to host state-by-state calls in the Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplace states. Click here for a tentative schedule, listed by CMS region. Stay tuned for updated information as it becomes available.

Check out a slide presentation on Health Insurance Exchanges 101.

What Is Your State Opting for?

States that declared their own online marketplace: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

States that opted for a partnership with the federal government: Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and West Virginia.

States defaulting to a federally facilitated exchange: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Keywords: Health Insurance Exchanges, Small Business, Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, United States

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