Health insurance exchanges may miss important deadline

Health insurance deadline

Health insurance exchanges are falling behind schedule in the US

Throughout the U.S., health insurance exchanges are scheduled to begin open enrollment on October 1 of this year. Each state will have its own health insurance exchange in place, but many of these exchanges are likely to be managed by the federal government. The exchanges have received praise mixed with criticism since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The federal health care law makes these exchanges mandatory in each state and has placed a deadline on when these exchanges must be operational.

Exchanges scheduled for open enrollment on October 1 of 2013

The launch of these health insurance exchanges is expected to make coverage available to some 7 million people throughout the country by the end of 2014. By 2016, this number will rise to 22 million. The federal government has hopes that health insurance exchanges will solve the problem of people going without adequate coverage. A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests, however, that these exchanges may not actually become operational on October 1, missing their most important deadline.

Health insurance deadlineReport suggests most exchanges will miss deadline

The report notes that many states have fallen behind on their health insurance exchange efforts. Approximately 32 states throughout the country have refused to build their own exchange programs, which they are able to do per the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In these states, the federal government is responsible for the development of exchanges, but the report shows that the government has yet to make any progress in this endeavor.

Exchanges are falling behind on key issues

The report suggests that most exchange initiatives are behind schedule in several key areas, such as consumer eligibility for federal subsidies, certification for health insurance plans, and the acquisition of health insurance navigators. The report has also found that some states that have opted to build and manage their own exchange have only just begun to test the computer systems that will manage these exchanges and link them to federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service. While many states seem to be falling behind in terms of progress, others are likely to meet the October 1 deadline without any trouble.

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