Defiant states may get stuck with federal health care exchanges


States that don’t meet deadlines will get federal health care exchanges, online markets for health insurance, imposed on them. Photo Credit: Sstevenson24/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Part of the Affordable Care Act is the creation of “health care exchanges,” online market places for people to buy health care coverage. States that snub at the law may not be able to circumvent the law, as the federal government may well step in to bypass political shenanigans.

Health care exchanges to function like Amazon for insurance

Part and parcel to the Affordable Care Act, often referred to “Obamacare,” is a program for getting health insurance to people. In other words, not only does the law say that people have to buy health insurance coverage or else be “taxed,” it provides a method for doing so, called “health care exchanges.”

The exchanges, according to the Christian Science Monitor, would be basically like for people who are eligible for reduced-cost health care under the Affordable Care Act. Anyone with insurance through an employer is out, as is anyone old enough to qualify for Medicare. Employers with fewer than 100 employees can also shop for insurance through the exchanges. However, they will be able to log on, browse available plans and purchase the health care plan they want.

Some states lagging

The responsibility to set up the health care exchanges falls to the states, though the law also contained the provision that the federal government can step in if a state fails to act or doesn’t come up with an exchange that gets official approval.

At the moment, according to Daily Finance, 14 states and Washington, D.C., have been able to successfully come up with a plan for health care exchange for residents of those states and that city that are eligible under the Affordable Care Act. Two more, Minnesota and Kentucky, are close. The remaining states have until Jan. 1, 2013, to get their own exchange approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, or else the federal system will be imposed on those states.

It is assumed that a number of governors, ostensibly those who were opposed to the law to begin with, are going to refuse to comply. Citizens of those states will have to use the federal system, should that be the case.

Live by 2013 World Series

A number of states are also resistant to expanded Medicaid coverage, according to NBC News, that extends Medicaid coverage to people making up to 133 percent of poverty income, or $14,800 for a single person or $31,000 for a family of family of four. The law provides for complete federal funding for the first several years, but then gradually increases the amount of required of state contributions, sort of like repaying loans.

As far as the exchanges go, the deadline of New Years Day 2013 looms. The system is, according to Daily Finance, set to go online by October 2013, when open enrollment begins.


Christian Science Monitor

Daily Finance

NBC News

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