Exchanges: HHS Official Offers Insights On State Deadline, Insurer Roles
During a news briefing in Washington, D.C., Steve Larsen, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the CMS, discussed certain issues related to the establishment of state health exchanges.
Modern Healthcare: Exchange Deadline May Be A Soft One
The Obama administration official overseeing the establishment of state health insurance exchanges left open the possibility Thursday that no states will establish such marketplaces by the 2014 statutory deadline. Steve Larsen, deputy administrator and director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the CMS, described at a news briefing in Washington the various activities that some states have undertaken to establish their own exchanges - a central component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, even the states furthest along in the process have multiple complex steps left to undertake before the deadline (Daly, 7/21).
Politico Pro: CCIIO: Limit Insurer's Role On Exchange
The federal government has major concerns about insurers playing too big of a role in making decisions on the design of state health exchanges, CCIIO chief Steve Larsen said Thursday morning. A proposed exchange rule released last week provides flexibility in how states can decide the makeup of exchange governance boards with the caveat that the insurance industry and brokers don't have overwhelming influence. "We thought that was a very reasonable approach not to have the board dominated by insurer interests or insurer-affiliated interests," Larsen said during a Health Affairs breakfast (Millman, 7/21).
CQ HealthBeat: Larsen Mum On Timing Of HHS 'Active Purchaser' Decision
It's one of the biggest decisions they have to make under the health law - but Health and Human Services officials are remaining resolutely mum about whether Uncle Sam will deny insurers access to the health benefit exchanges it runs if they give consumers a lousy deal. Steve Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, declined to tell reporters Thursday when that decision would be announced. Larsen wouldn't even say whether it would be announced this year. Denying such information is consistent with the Obama administration's overall strategy: Keep from giving GOP candidates fresh opportunities to tag the controversial overhaul law with the "big government" label going into next year's elections (Reichard, 7/21).
Meanwhile, other reports detail the potential for certain health law unintended consequences.
The Hill: Health Care Law Could Leave Families With High Insurance Costs
A major provision of the health care reform law designed to prevent businesses from dropping coverage for their workers could inadvertently leave families without access to subsidized health insurance. The problem is a huge headache for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, because it could leave families unable to buy affordable health insurance when the health care law requires that everyone be insured starting in 2014 (Pecquet, 7/21).