Health Insurance Exchanges Still Being Debated

With key dates fast approaching, states are beginning to take some strong stances in regards to health insurance exchanges.

With key dates fast approaching, states are beginning to take some strong stances in regards to health insurance exchanges.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Obama Administration announced a November 16 deadline for state governments to submit proposals that will outline how they plan to operate health insurance exchanges in 2014. Despite the effort in advancing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, progress at the state level has been uneven, in large part because of a looming decision by the Supreme Court which will determine whether or not the proposed act is in fact constitutional. Complicating things further is the fact that, even if deemed constitutional, another decision this November could effectively eliminate the Act altogether. That’s because Obama’s presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has gone on record as saying that he will repeal the healthcare reform if elected.

For these reasons, some states have been reluctant or downright defiant when it comes to planning for operational health insurance exchanges. The most recent veto came from New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie, who said he was “concerned about creating a new 'Medicaid-like program' for individuals above the poverty level without assurances of federal funding.”

On the other side, some states have begun the process to establish health insurance exchanges. In fact, six states -- Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington — are set to receive $181 million in grants from Health and Human Services Department.

What do you think about the state of health insurance exchanges? Is your state currently in the process of creating a health insurance exchange plan or is it hesitating to move forward? Do you agree or disagree?

Stay tuned for an upcoming AJMC Panel Discussion on the subject of health insurance exchanges.