Clock is ticking for insurance exchange implementation

Published on December 19, 2012 at 1:15 PM · No Comments

Roll Call: Health Exchanges: Can They Be Ready By 2014?
The idea of a health insurance exchange as laid out in President Barack Obama's signature law seems straightforward: an online marketplace where people will shop for private health insurance, like buying an airline ticket or a hotel room. But making sure exchanges in every state are ready for business by the law's deadline of 2014 has been anything but easy given the legal, technical and political questions surrounding them (Norman, 12/18).

Politico Pro: Utah Exchange The Next ACA Test
Utah says it wants to run its own health insurance exchange. HHS says it wants Utah to run its own exchange. If it were only that simple. Utah says it doesn't want to do much to alter its existing exchange, which it started for small businesses before President Barack Obama's health care law was enacted in 2010. Gov. Gary Herbert's administration says it's ready to add individual coverage, but not much else. So, Utah has become a test of just how much flexibility the Obama administration is willing to give to states (Millman, 12/19).

CQ HealthBeat: Patients Groups Lobby HHS To Allow Coverage Of More Than One Drug Per Class
With a week left to go before the comment deadline on three major rules, a coalition of 151 groups sent a letter Tuesday urging the administration to improve protections for patients in the health benefit exchanges due to open in 2014. The essential health benefits rule is one of three proposed regulations, along with proposals on insurance market rules and wellness, that was released on Nov. 26 with a 30-day comment period. The essential health benefits rule outlines the kinds of coverage that plans will have to offer in order to be sold in the exchanges (Adams, 12/18).

Other aspects of the health law were also in the news --

The Wall Street Journal: Cleveland Clinic Diagnoses Health-Care Act
Just over a year from now, the Affordable Care Act is set to unleash enormous change in the health-care sector, and Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Delos "Toby" Cosgrove is preparing his institution by expanding its reach and striving to make caregivers more cost-conscious. ...  Cleveland Clinic is also striking deals with employers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to send workers to there for complex procedures, moves that lock in patients for high-end surgeries. The new federal provisions-;which include cutbacks to Medicare payments and the creation of new health-insurance marketplaces for consumers-;will test institutions like Cleveland Clinic (Mathews, 12/18).

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