March 20, 2012 11:27:33 am
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final policies to help states with the establishment of Affordable Insurance Exchanges. The policies offer states “substantial” resources and flexibility to meet the needs of their consumers, according to the HHS news release.
The policies include guidance on two particularly important areas pertaining to states’ options for structuring the exchanges:
HHS announced that the majority of states have taken “significant steps” in establishing their exchanges. To assist with the planning process, HHS has awarded 49 states and the District of Columbia $50 million. Additionally, 33 states and the District of Columbia have received over $667 million in Establishment Grants to begin building their Exchanges.
- Establishment of standards for creating Exchanges, setting up a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), performing the basic functions of an Exchange and certifying health plans for participation in the Exchange, and
- Establishing a streamlined, web-based system for consumers to apply for and enroll in qualified health plans and affordability insurance programs.
The Exchanges will be available starting in 2014 and will provide consumers and small business a “one-stop” marketplace to choose private health insurance plans.
For more the HHS announcement, please see hhs.gov.
Tags: Insurance Exchanges, Healthcare
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