Minnesota health insurance exchange still in a state of confusion
A task force formed in Minnesota by the state’s government is currently investigating the next steps the state should take in building its own health insurance exchange. The task force is advisory in nature, but plays a significant role in the state’s future health insurance structure. The association met earlier this week and is expected to provide state lawmakers with recommendations on how the Minnesota health insurance exchange should take form.
Lawmakers still unsure how to build an exchange program
Minnesota is one of several states that has declared it will build and operate its own exchange program. The Minnesota health exchange is to be fully operational by January 2014, according to federal law. Though the state has plans to build an exchange, lawmakers are not yet sure exactly what the program will look like or how it will be operated. Thus far, Minnesota has received more than $70 million in federal aid to build the program, but relatively little guidance from the federal government concerning the exchange.
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Lack of guidance causes confusion
Lack of guidance has been a major problem for some states, which suggest that cannot build an exchange without clear standards and rules provided by the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the exchange initiative, suggests that states are meant to determine how exchanges will work on their own, with these programs only required to comply with federal standards in regards to accessible and affordable health insurance. Nonetheless, there remains confusion on how to build the Minnesota health insurance exchange that has yet to be remedied.
State seeks further financial aid
Despite this confusion, the state is seeking an additional $39 million in federal aid to finish developing the Minnesota health insurance exchange. These funds are meant to help establish the needed Internet-based infrastructure of the program, which will allow consumers to purchase affordable plans online. The task force has yet to determine how this system should operate.