Health insurance deadlines for exchanges will be tight

Health Insurance News
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The dates are rapidly approaching and states and IT firms are scrambling to have everything finished in time.

IT firms are in the midst of creating health insurance exchanges that are cloud based and allow for connection with both the states and a federal data hub in order to support determination of eligibility for users.

However, the deadline for open enrollment is October 1, and that time is rushing up very quickly.

The health insurance exchanges must be open and ready for enrollment by October 1, 2013, according to the Affordable Care Act, meaning that the federal government, the states, and IT vendors will need to work as quickly as they can to make sure that they are complete and functioning properly in time. The Congress watchdog arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has already issued a report as of June 19, which states that the exchanges are already behind schedule.

Health Insurance NewsThe study suggests that the health insurance exchanges will not meet the deadline if they continue on this path.

The study was conducted following a request for it from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), as well as Rep Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California). According to the GAO within its report “Whether [the government’s] contingency planning will assure the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined.” The report was called the “Status of CMS Efforts to Establish Federally Facilitated Health Insurance Exchanges.”

The exchanges need to be ready for open enrollment by October 1, 2014, because the coverage for the health insurance plans that will be sold within their marketplaces will be required to start on January 1, 2014.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is implementing the exchanges in the sates that opted not to create them, themselves. Therefore, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – which is overseeing all of the health insurance marketplaces – will be running the exchanges for 34 states. Among them, 15 include the partial participation of the states. The GAO has said that some of the states are not on schedule for setting up the functions for which they have taken responsibility.

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