Officials Look To 2 States For Advice On Setting Up Exchanges
Two states -- Massachusetts and Utah -- are forerunners in establishing health insurance exchanges, a key part of the health overhaul, and are likely to serve as models for other states, Politico reports. "As the federal government and states start to put together the building blocks of the health care overhaul's insurance exchanges - Orbitz- or Expedia-like Web programs with which to buy insurance - they're trying to avoid the hiccups experienced in the only two states with similar exchanges already in place today." Utah's is more lenient; its former director described it as a farmer's market, open to any vendor. Massachusetts' is strict, leveraging its buying power by rejecting plans with excessively high premiums (Haberkorn, 11/16).
The Wall Street Journal: Meanwhile, technology companies are lining up to get in on the action. For instance, "EHealth Inc., an online insurance broker, has won two new government contracts for insurance websites, and has established a separate unit to go after a share of the exchange business. At stake is some $4 billion a year in revenue, according to an estimate by HealthConnect Systems, a tech company that aims to compete for the new business (Johnson, 11/16).
The Wall Street Journal, in a separate story that focuses on other implementation issues: "The Obama administration is loosening health-law rules so employers can switch insurance carriers without having to abide by new coverage requirements. The law requires most insurance plans to provide free preventive care and give enrollees new powers to appeal coverage denials. However employers can shield themselves from those requirements if they don't make significant changes to their policy" (Adamy, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.