Huffington Post Interviews Joel Ario on State vs. Federal Health Exchanges
"Health Insurance Exchanges, Heart of Obamacare, Rest in Hands of Skeptical States"
November 15, 2012 - The Huffington Post turned to Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, for insight into the advantages of states opting to run their own health insurance exchanges.
As reported by the Huffington Post, political resistance in some states and failure to plan in others are fueling worries that the speed and scope of the health care reform may be in jeopardy. Of particular concern are health insurance exchanges, which will function as the online marketplaces for the uninsured beginning in October 2013. States have until December 14 to inform the Obama administration whether they intend to set up their own exchanges or leave the task to the federal government.
Overall, who runs the exchanges shouldn't matter, said Ario, who previously ran the health insurance exchanges office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"The consumer wouldn't know whether it's state, federal or private," Ario said. "They'd just know they've got a website they can go to that gives them access to choices and allows them to compare and contrast those choices relatively quickly."
Nevertheless, the law aimed to have states run the exchanges, he said. States that don't operate their own exchanges, or at least help the federal government set them up, relinquish some authority, Ario said. States that don't create exchanges in time for 2014 coverage can opt to do so in future years. "Local control over the insurance market is the number-one reason why states would want to continue to be in charge," he said.
Read the article here.