Senate in Oregon gives its last minute approval to state health insurance exchange

The Oregon Senate has given its overwhelming last minute approval for a measure toward the implementation of the state’s online health insurance exchange marketplace, which is the heart of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform and will provide individuals and small businesses a place to shop for coverage. The vote on Monday was for a measure that was championed by Governor John Kitzhaber, and was passed by 55-5 for the rules that will govern the exchange. This will give the state the ability to build an insurance marketplace ahead of the…

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Washington is one step closer to building its own health insurance exchange

Washington lawmakers have passed a bill that opens the way for a health insurance exchange to take root in the state. The bill will set up rules that will help the state prepare for the construction of the exchange and govern its operation for the foreseeable future. Legislators believe that this will help the state fully comply with the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and will help it adhere to federal deadlines. Currently, the exchange is expected to be fully operational by January 2014. The rules established by the bill…

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Massachusetts insurance exchange awarded funds to help it fall in line with the Affordable Care Act

Massachusetts is currently one of the few states that has a working insurance exchange in place. The state’s online marketplace has been a boon for those looking for affordable health insurance policies but it does not comply with the standards established by the Affordable Care Act. Instead of requiring the state to scrap the project and start from scratch, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and auxiliary arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded the state with funding to help legislators make necessary changes. He…

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Oklahoma legislative panel suggests building a health insurance exchange

A legislative panel commissioned to determine whether Oklahoma should pursue building its own health insurance exchange system has finally reached a conclusion. The panel released a report to the state’s Legislature recommending action be taken on building an exchange in order to avoid the federal government taking charge and establishing its own. The state has had a rocky history with the concept of the exchange and has been slow to adopt legislation that would make the program possible. The panel is now stressing the importance of building an adequate system…

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Cutting individual insurance mandate could have dire consequences for health care, says RAND

A new study from the RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution that provides research and analysis for various political endeavors, suggests that axing the mandatory health insurance provision from the Affordable Care Act could be a costly mistake. The health care law has generated a large amount of controversy for its various provisions that introduce dramatic changes to the nation’s tax, insurance and medical services structure. None of these provisions have been quite as contentious as the health insurance mandate. The mandate, and the law as a whole, will be heading…

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Idaho to shun federal financial aid for building a health insurance exchange

Idaho legislators are opposing the idea of using federal grants to build a health insurance exchange in the state. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services rewarded $20.3 million to the state in order to help with the project. Governor C.L. Otter was eager to use the money to push ahead the construction effort and prepare the state for a new health insurance system. Legislators failed to approve a plan that would put the money to use, however, they are now looking to build an exchange without federal…

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Final simplification rules for insurance policies issued by the Obama administration this week

The Obama administration has issued the final rules regarding how insurance companies will make policies easier to understand this week. The government has been working on the rules since the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The endeavor aims to make the language of insurance policies more clear and straightforward. There have been some delays in the initiative as insurance groups asserted that some policies could not be simplified because they did not cover simple circumstances. Nonetheless, the final rules have been issued this week, requiring all insurers…

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Department of Health and Human Services issues legal briefing regarding Affordable Care Act

As the Affordable Care Act continues its slow march toward the Supreme Court, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a legal brief regarding the matter. The federal health care law has come under fire largely due to one of its provisions. The provision requires all U.S. citizens to purchase some kind of health insurance. 26 states have come together to combat this provision, along with some of the other aspects of the law. The HHS claims that if the individual insurance mandate is declared unconstitutional, the Supreme…

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Minnesota lawmakers clash over recommendations from health insurance exchange advisory task force

Legislators are clashing in Minnesota over recommendations regarding a health insurance exchange program. The recommendations come from a task force that had been commissioned by Governor Mark Dayton. The task force’s goal was to determine the necessity of a health insurance exchange program for the state. According to the group’s recommendations, the program would bring significant benefits to residents and could help improve the economy of the state, which is why the task force is now supporting plans to build and exchange. The task force was comprised of some of…

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Texas health insurance waiver denied by the federal government

The federal government has announced that it has not approved Texas’s request for exclusion from a new law that places limitations on allowable amount of overhead spending by health insurers. The law from which Texas wanted to be excluded is one of the changes made in 2010 as a part of the Affordable Care Act for federal health care. Officials in Texas are claiming that this part of the Act is unconstitutional. It is called the medical loss ratio requirement, and it states that health insurance companies must spend a…

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