Washington Public Health Benefit Exchange Set for Rollout in 2021

Washington State Pioneers ‘Public Option’ Insurance in the U.S.
– Health Plan Weekly

Manatt’s Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health, spoke to Health Plan Weekly about Washington State’s recent move toward enacting the nation’s first public option health insurance program.

The Washington Public Health Benefit Exchange will be a state-based Affordable Care Act marketplace that will sell new standardized plans alongside nonstandardized plans by January 1, 2021.

Ario said that the new plan will cap total provider and facility reimbursement rates at 160% of Medicare rates, and added that “there is wiggle room on the rating issue, which is probably the most important issue.” This would allow states to take alternative steps if public option plans do not build adequate networks under the rate structure.

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