Insurance Blog

Finance Blogs » Insurance » Feds to run most state exchanges

Feds to run most state exchanges

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

Based on widespread nonresponse from states that spent years fighting President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform law, the federal government will be involved in the new health insurance marketplaces called exchanges in more than two-thirds of the 50 states beginning in 2014.

The Obama administration had hoped opposing states would see that it's in their best interest to run their own exchanges as Congress intended after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act last summer and the president's re-election effectively ended efforts to repeal Obamacare.

But even after the deadline to submit a plan was extended until Dec. 14, just 18 states and the District of Columbia had come forward to run their own exchanges, according to Kaiser's StateHealthFacts.org.

States face three exchange options: a state-run exchange; a federal-state partnership exchange; or a federally run exchange. All models are required by law to provide easy-to-use online shopping for affordable health insurance for small businesses and individuals, with open enrollment slated to begin next October.

Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave preliminary approval to Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington to create and run their own state-based exchanges, and conferred conditional approval upon New York and Kentucky. Other states already on board to run their own show include California, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.

Other states now have until Feb. 15 to sign on for the federal-state partnership option. So far, seven states have partnership plans, including Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina and West Virginia.

According to media reports, Gary Cohen, who oversees the exchange project as director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, says work is well under way on a customer service call center, interactive website capable of interfacing with each state's technology system, and a central data services hub that will determine an online applicant's eligibility.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 26 million people, including as many as half of the estimated 30 million uninsured Americans, will eventually be insured through the exchanges. Under health care reform, most Americans will be required to obtain health insurance or face a fine beginning in 2014.

Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus

Subscribe to Bankrate newsletters today!

«
»
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
36 Comments
Paul
December 27, 2012 at 11:00 am

May be Obama Care not any different than currently run government programes but face it alternatives suck......

Daniel
December 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

Message to jimbo70

I could not pass on this opportunity to educate you on taxation and the European healthcare system you seem to hold in such disdain. First of all, I have travelled extensively across Europe and I'm aware of the National Health Service in the UK and the VAT which most European countries have adopted successfully I might add. To think that we in the United States are taxed less than Europeans is extremely naïve. European taxation is direct in that everyone is aware of the rate/percentage they pay. In the United States, our taxes are hidden so most people like you do not realize how much they really pay:
1. Federal Taxes
2. State Taxes
3. Local Taxes
4. Social Security Taxes
5. Medicare/Medicaid Taxes
6. Real-estate Taxes
7. Sales Taxes on almost everything we consume: Food, clothing, gasoline, entertainment,(Yes cable TV)
8. Indirect taxation - Tolls on bridges and roads
If after all the taxes above you still have money to invest you are subject to investment taxes on dividends and capital gains. So the fact that our taxes are not consolidated does not mean we pay less. All it means is our taxes are hidden to create the illusion that we pay less.

Daniel
December 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

Message to jimbo70

I could not pass on this opportunity to educate you on taxation and the European healthcare system you seem to hold in such disdain. First of all, I have travelled extensively across Europe and I'm aware of the National Health Service in the UK and the VAT which most European countries have adopted successfully I might add. To think that we in the United States are taxed less than Europeans is extremely naïve. European taxation is direct in that everyone is aware of the rate/percentage they pay. In the United States, our taxes are hidden so most people like you do not realize how much they really pay:
1. Federal Taxes
2. State Taxes
3. Local Taxes
4. Social Security Taxes
5. Medicare/Medicaid Taxes
6. Real-estate Taxes
7. Sales Taxes on almost everything we consume: Food, clothing, gasoline, entertainment,(Yes cable TV)
8. Indirect taxation - Tolls on bridges and roads
If after all the taxes above you still have money to invest you are subject to investment taxes on dividends and capital gains. So the fact that our taxes are not consolidated does

smitty
December 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

Bob - fine vs. tax....semantics.

The purpose is to force people to exercise personal responsiblity. Conservatives would line up behind this concept if Herman Cain or Sarah Palin offered it as a solution income redistribution. But, since it came from Obama - it's evil.

Pat
December 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

God Help Us We are going to need it

fedup
December 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

Steelman303 couldn’t be more right. All you have to do is look at the government’s current health care system, which is the VA. For those of you who disagree, please explain how or why Obama Care will be different?