USA Today Quotes Joel Ario on Federal Exchange Decisions States Must Make

USA Today Quotes Joel Ario on Federal Exchange Decisions States Must Make

"States Still Face Choices About Health Care Exchanges"
USA Today

February 16, 2013 - USA Today quoted Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, on the decisions states still need to make if the federal government is to run their health insurance exchanges.

USA Today reports that the deadline for states to announce officially whether they would create their own exchange, partner with the government, or allow the federal government to take over, passed on February 15. There were 17 states and the District of Columbia that opted to create their own exchanges, seven states that chose to partner with the government, and 26 states that have defaulted to federal exchanges.

The states that abstained from creating their own or partnering with the government must now decide whether they want to make decisions about rate control or who may participate in state plans. Insurers need to decide where they will offer plans and whether they will offer them through the federal exchange program.

In the past, Ario said, the states' insurance commissioners have monitored insurance rates and have decided who could operate in their states.

"That's not as much of a day-to-day partnership with the government," he said, explaining that the mostly Republican-led states that have chosen not to create exchanges could still participate in those decisions without upsetting their political base. Many governors chose not to create exchanges in defiance of the law, saying it's a product of Big Government and that it costs too much. Those in favor of the exchanges and the law say it will ultimately cut costs throughout the healthcare system.

Because of Friday's deadline, said Ario, insurers now "have a pretty clear time frame" for getting set up, but he said there would be a small push for participation in the overall market.

"In most cases, insurers are playing where they already have strong participation," he said. Those areas already have provider networks set up. "The larger the state, the more likely there will be local and national competition."

Read the article here.



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