Obama Administration Urges States To Move Forward On Health Exchanges

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Insurance, Marketplace, Health Reform, States

Aug 14, 2012

Administration officials will “try to encourage reluctant states” to move forward with health exchanges, even as time appears to be running out, Reuters reports. Also in the news, consumer representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offered state and federal officials suggestions about how they should write regulations to implement the health law’s key consumer protections.

Reuters: Obama Pushes For State Help On Health Exchanges
The Obama administration this week will try to encourage reluctant U.S. states to move forward with health insurance exchanges amid fears that time is running out for states to act on a reform provision meant to extend coverage to millions of low-to-moderate income uninsured Americans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has scheduled four regional meetings this month to discuss the exchanges and other aspects of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law with state officials and others (Morgan, 8/13).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Regulators Urged To Move Swiftly To Prevent ‘Rate Shocks’
Consumer groups on Monday said state and federal regulators should move quickly to set rules to protect Americans from health insurance premium ‘rate shocks’ and to prevent insurers from charging far higher rates in low income areas, when major provisions of the federal health law take effect in 2014 (Appleby, 8/13).

CQ HealthBeat: Protecting Consumers Means Mastering Fine Points Of Writing Health Law Regs, NAIC Reps Say
The consumer representatives to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released a 51-page report Monday loaded with technical recommendations for how state and federal officials should write regulations to implement key consumer protections under the health care law. “We want to make sure that, as they implement these reforms, they’re putting consumers front and center,’ said Beth Abbott of Health Access California, one of the reps (Reichard, 8/13).

In addition –

Modern Healthcare/Crain’s New York Business: Health Reform Confusion Keeps Consultants Busy
The Affordable Care Act’s long-term impact on employers is still uncertain. But one sector is already getting a boost from the law, recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court: Business is booming for benefits consulting firms. Whatever the new law will ultimately mean for the cost and quality of health care in the U.S., in the short term it has meant anxiety and paperwork for employers. Though some provisions will not take effect for years, others are already in place, with more to come in 2014 (Scott, 8/13).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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