Monday, August 27, 2012

Affordable Insurance Exchanges

Affordable insurance exchanges seek to ease the navigation and financial burdens of both individual and small business health insurance.  As part of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), state-based exchanges are a “one-stop-shop” to compare and find affordable health coverage in a competitive insurance market.  The transparency of exchanges allows consumers to compare private and public health plans based on price and quality. The ACA created the notion, but on August 12, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury awarded establishment grants to 13 states and the District of Columbia to facilitate the implementation of the exchanges.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services received a Level-One Establishment Grant in the amount of $7,670,803 on June 30, 2011 and $57,896,810 on December 30, 2011, to further the planning efforts of the state’s exchange. A large portion of these grants will be used for the information technology support system necessary to implement the exchange.  Operational planning, technical design, architecture of the system, integration with Medicaid and sustainability will also all be funded through these grants.  The Cabinet also received a $1,000,000 State Planning Grant on September 30, 2010 meant to discover more about the uninsured population of our state, survey health insurance carriers, provide economic forecasting models and study other states with existing exchanges.

The primary purpose of the exchange model is to create a competitive marketplace, making insurance, thus health care, affordable to the millions of uninsured Americans. With a level playing field all Americans will have access to insurance – that is, both affordable and quality care.  In theory, the ACA will force insurance companies to play fair and create more opportunity for collective bargaining through small pools of individuals or businesses.

Like the Affordable Care Act, affordable insurance exchanges are intended to change the landscape of our health care system. It’s an intriguing topic, one which we look forward to following and discussing. We will continue to explore the many facets of exchanges in the coming weeks.

Molly Lewis
McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC
Lexington, Kentucky

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the ACA promises to bring about some drastic changes in the health care industry, and hopefully the modifications will lead to a positive outcome. The insurance exchanges will apparently offer a lot of benefits to those who'll want to opt for a new insurance plans. The exchanges offer a lot of insurance options in front of the consumers. Besides, coverage which are bought through an exchange can be modified later on or made portable even if it's an employment-based coverage. The ACA intends to set up health insurance exchanges in states and will arrange for some governmental agencies or non-profit organisations to manage the proceedings. By 2014, the individuals and the small businesses can avail of the qualified health-care coverage.