The Obama administration has announced that insurers will be charged to sell from the online marketplaces.
On Friday, the Obama administration announced that health insurance companies will now need to pay in order to participate in the online exchanges so that they can sell their plans to the millions of American individuals, families, and small businesses who will be using the marketplace.
The “user fees” are designed to help to pay for the cost of creating and operating the exchanges.
Unfortunately, the primary concern is that the cost of the fees may simply be passed on to the consumers. In fact, some predictions are indicating that consumers might have to pay 3.5 percent more on their health insurance premiums than was initially forecasted for the plans being sold through the exchanges.
These fees will be specific to the states in which the federal government will run the health insurance exchanges.
In another move, federal officials have also said that American consumers will also soon be able to obtain the same types of nationwide health insurance plans that federal employees and members of Congress currently have available to them. These will be plans that are offered through private insurers through a United States Office of Personnel Management contract. That agency is already offering this coverage to eight million federal employees, dependents, and retirees.
According to the personnel agency director, John Berry, “This new initiative will promote competition in the insurance marketplace and ensure individuals and small businesses have more high-quality, affordable insurance choices.”
These recently announced health insurance changes are only the latest efforts made by the federal government to move the healthcare reforms forward so that they will be ready for full implementation in January 2014. They also help to illustrate the growth of the role of the White House as many states have handed over responsibility for their exchanges to federal officials.
Though there had previously been concerns expressed by health insurance companies, consumer advocates, and certain state officials regarding the delays of the publications that were announced on Friday, it looks as though things are finally starting to move forward at a more rapid rate.