Joel Ario Speaks to Kaiser Health News on Health Insurance Market Delays

Joel Ario Speaks to Kaiser Health News on Health Insurance Market Delays

"Computer Issues May Hamper Online Insurance Markets"
Kaiser Health News

November 14, 2012 - Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, spoke to Kaiser Health News about recent technical and regulatory delays that may hamper the online health insurance marketplace schedule, which is due to open in October 2013.

Kaiser Health News reports that an electronic system that most insurers will use to submit their health insurance exchange policies for state and federal approvals won't be ready for testing next month, as planned. The three-month delay is blamed on the wait for several regulations that are needed to update the software. Some industry insiders think the delay will further squeeze insurance regulators and insurers, who still have much work to do before enrollment is slated to begin next fall.

Some are arguing to postpone the opening of the marketplaces, since a host of technical and regulatory steps must still be taken, such as reviews of policies submitted by insurers. Generally, insurers say it can take 18 months to develop new products and get them approved.

"The timeline is definitely getting crunched," said Ario, who formerly served as the Obama administration's head of exchange planning. "Insurers tell me they will need final approval of their products by July 1 so they will have three months to actually get set up to market them."

The Obama administration recently extended a deadline to mid-December for states to submit plans to set up their own markets, or to mid-February for those who want to partner with the federal government.

Ario says the extension shows the federal government "believes they can start the solicitation process [with insurers in February] and complete it in time to have product on the shelf for open enrollment in October."

Read the article here.

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