Utah health insurance exchange finds strong support and concern
As health insurance reform continues to take hold throughout the country, several states have announced plans to build their own health insurance exchanges. Utah is one of these states. The Utah health insurance exchange will be built and operated by the state itself, rather than the federal government. Plans for this ambitious project were introduced earlier this month by Governor Gary Herbert, but Utah has since become inundated with complaints and concerns coming from consumers who are worried about what the exchange system could mean.
Exchange wins over health care providers
The Utah health insurance exchange has managed to attract the support of the several thousand health care providers that work in the state. State legislators have been working on gaining support for the state’s federal high-risk health coverage pool, which is mean to provide coverage for the sick and uninsurable. Health care organizations throughout the state helped pay the costs associated with this endeavor, which helped direct more support for the Utah health insurance exchange, which would provide sick individuals with the insurance coverage they need.
Avenue H may serve as structure for exchange
Utah already has an exchange-like system in place for small businesses called Avenue H. Governor Herbert has petitioned the federal government to designate this exchange system as compliant with the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Currently, Avenue H serves only small businesses, but the Governor has plans to open it up to individuals and groups if it can win approval from the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS negotiating with state on exchange initiative
The Department of Health and Human Services is currently negotiating with Utah concerning the state’s health insurance exchange. If Avenue H can win approval, it is likely to become the new Utah health insurance exchange. The federal agency has yet to comment on the negotiations, but Avenue H is likely to have small technical issues that may need to be changed in order to win approval.