Pennsylvania health insurance exchange may just be wishful thinking

Pennsylvania Health Insurance

Pennsylvania Health InsurancePennsylvania health insurance exchange may not make federal deadline

Pennsylvania has been slow to warm to the concept of the Affordable Care Act. The federal health care law has been steeped in controversy for the past two years, after having been passed in 2010. The federal government had anticipated that some of this controversy would diminish due to the Supreme Court upholding the law earlier this year, but this has not happened. Now, Pennsylvania is expected to miss a federal deadline laid out by the health care law concerning the state’s efforts to build a health insurance exchange system. As such, the Pennsylvania health insurance exchange may end up in the control of the federal government.

Legislative inaction may cost state control of its insurance exchange

According to Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine, Pennsylvania now has a slim chance to meet the federal deadline due to legislative inaction. Per the Affordable Care Act, all states are required to build their own health insurance exchange programs. These programs are meant to provide consumers with access to affordable health insurance plans, but have proven somewhat unpopular with states opposing the federal health care law. If these states do not build their own exchange system, the federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, will be responsible for building one.

State expected to miss 2014 deadline

Commissioner Consedine cites lack of legislative action and virtually no direction from the Department of Health and Human Services as the reason behind the seemingly impossible task of building an exchange. The state has until January 2014 to have an exchange fully operational or risk federal intervention. According to Commissioner Consedine, it may be too late for the state to meet this deadline, even if legislation to build the Pennsylvania health insurance exchange program were passed within the next month.

Earlier deadline poses threat of federal intervention

Pennsylvania faces a deadline much closer than January 2014. All states are required to submit their plans for a health insurance exchange to the Department of Health and Human Services by November 16 of this year. Commissioner Consedine suggests that this deadline may be impossible to meet, meaning that federal officials are likely to begin playing a larger role in the development of a Pennsylvania health insurance exchange.

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