States back away from health insurance exchanges as uncertainty concerning Affordable Care Act grows
As health care continues to grab headlines in the world of insurance news, the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act could have serious, yet often overlooking, implications for the Maine health insurance industry. The health care law has been the target of criticism due to a provision that requires all Americans to purchase and maintain some form of health insurance coverage. One of the most ambitious provisions of the law has been relatively well-received. That is the provision that requires states to establish their own health insurance exchanges.
Exchanges meant to provide consumers with access to affordable coverage
These health insurance exchanges are meant to be marketplaces where consumers can find affordable health care coverage. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency overseeing the progress of the Affordable Care Act, the exchanges are meant to increase the competitions amongst insurance companies, thereby driving down the prices of coverage. Currently, all states are required to establish and maintain their own health insurance exchange programs by 2014 or risk the federal government taking over the initiatives entirely.
Maine opts to stall plans for an exchange program
Because of the uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act, several states have chosen to stall their efforts to build a health insurance exchange. Maine is included among these states. The state’s legislators have chosen that plans for a health insurance exchange will be put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court can levy a judgment for or against the federal health care law.
Enroll UX 2014 seeks to assist in the building of health insurance exchanges
The HHS is not the only organization that is encouraging the establishment of health insurance exchanges. A new collaborative initiative known as Enroll UX2014 has emerged this week to assist states in establishing their own health insurance exchange programs. The collaborative, which is comprised of states that support health care reform, seeks to provide these states with financial and logistical support. Maine is not participating in the collaborative and has maintained its “wait-and-see” policy.