Government hopes to see action on state insurance exchanges soon despite ambiguous guidelines

News on Healthcare ReformThe federal government is hoping that states make moves on insurance exchanges soon. Several guidelines have been released by the government to lay the framework for how states should go about building and operating the exchanges, but few have been quick to take up action.

Federal law requires that states must have a working exchange program established by 2014 or the control of this program will default to the federal government. The director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, believes that states are simply biding their time in the hopes that the government may loosen its strict regulations.

Early this month, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a wave of new regulations regarding health insurance exchanges. Many of these regulations were focused on the governance of the exchange programs. One particular measure was introduced in the hopes that states might be spurred to action. The HHS proposed a hybrid solution that would allow states to collaborate with the agency in setting up exchanges. This is meant to ease the burden of states that have had trouble drumming up the necessary resources for the insurance programs.

Yet, many states continue to struggle with the vague nature of the guidelines issued by the federal government. Furthermore, the government has yet to release a formal timeline on when the next set of regulations will be released. Until then, insurance exchanges continue to be caught up in a swell of ambiguity.

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