States Consider Names, Logistics For Health Insurance Exchanges
California officials ponder how to brand the new marketplaces to create consumer buzz, while Connecticut officials move ahead with plans to launch next year.
Los Angeles Times: California's Health Exchange Considers A Fruity New Name
Want to buy health insurance from an avocado? California thinks you might. Officials at the California Health Benefit Exchange, knowing their new online marketplace for medical insurance is a mouthful, are considering some new brand names to generate buzz with millions of consumers. "Avocado: A uniquely California approach to affordable health care" was one possibility presented at a board meeting Thursday (Terhune, 8/24).
The Associated Press: Conn. Moving Ahead With New Health Care Exchange
Connecticut officials are pushing ahead with plans to set up the new health insurance exchange, a marketplace where individuals and businesses can find affordable coverage, by next fall. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week awarded the state a $107 million grant. It was the latest allotment from the federal government as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law. To date, the state has now received a total of $116 million (8/25).
In other health law news, a study shows Florida stands to leave a dollar on the table for every dime it saves from not expanding Medicaid --
The Associated Press: Florida Economists Reduce Health Care Estimates
State economists have reduced their estimates of what it would cost Florida to expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul. Gov. Rick Scott, an Affordable Care Act opponent, is against the expansion. It eventually would extend Medicaid coverage to about 900,000 more Floridians. While the overall numbers released Friday are lower, they still show Florida would lose about a dollar in federal funding for every dime of state savings from turning down the expanded program (8/24).
And some Connecticut health insurance rates are being driven higher by higher costs, not the health law --
The Connecticut Mirror: Connecticut Health Insurance Rate Increases Driven By Rising Costs, Not The Affordable Care Act, Filings Show
The double-digit rate increases recently granted to one and sought by two other large Connecticut health insurers are due mostly to increasing medical costs and only minimally to the impact of the Affordable Care Act, filings by the companies show. Aetna Health Inc. recently won approval for a 12.6 percent increase in its small group health insurance following its request for 14 percent -- just under a new 15-percent threshold that would have triggered a public hearing (Merritt, 8/27).