KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

On Health Exchanges, States May Get A Second Chance To Create Their Own

So far, 11 states have accepted federal money to set up their own state-run insurance exchange. Meanwhile, the Basic Health Program, another health law initiative, is drawing attention.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Administration May Give States Second Chance To Avoid Federally Run Insurance Exchange
The Obama administration said Tuesday that states that have not adopted their own insurance exchanges may get a second chance to avoid getting one run solely by the federal government. Only 11 states have fully embraced the idea of taking federal money to set up their own state-run insurance exchange, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official said Tuesday. The exchange, a key part of Obama's health care overhaul, is designed to help uninsured people buy coverage from a choice of plans with federal tax credits (8/23).

Politico Pro: States Consider Basic Health Program Effects
An optional health insurance program included in the Affordable Care Act to help states cover low-income populations is drawing some early interest — but it's also generating major questions. While much of the focus on increasing coverage through health reform has centered around health insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, numerous states have explored whether to set up a state-run Basic Health Program to cover populations that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but would struggle to pay exchange premiums, even with a federal premium tax credit. If a state chooses to set up a BHP, it could contract with health plans or providers to cover what essentially would be two distinct populations: adults earning between 133 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level and legal immigrants who cannot qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status (Millman, 8/24).

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