Utah health insurance exchange moves forward under state control

Utah flag health insurance

Utah flag health insuranceUtah health insurance exchange to be run by the state

Utah will move ahead with its own health insurance exchange, according to an announcement made late last week by Governor Gary Herbert. The Utah health insurance exchange will be developed, built, and operated by the state itself, rather than the federal government. State officials are drafting plans for the exchange in the hopes that it will comply with federal standards. Some lawmakers are unclear as to what those standards are, however, because of the lack of guidance coming from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Exchange system to provide consumers with access to affordable policies

The Utah health insurance exchange is expected to be developed in a way that will make affordable insurance coverage more accessible to the state’s residents. Through the exchange program, consumers will be able to find insurance plans that are suited for their needs. These plans will offer different levels of benefits, with those offering the most comprehensive coverage also being the most expensive. The Utah health insurance exchange will offer policies from the state’s licensed insurance companies.

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Federal government may be unable to build an exchange suited for Utah consumers

Late last week, Governor Herbert issues a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services. In the letter, the Governor informed the federal agency that the state would accept the responsibility of developing its own insurance exchange. The letter also outlines what the Governor believes to be the problem with the concept of  the federal government operating an exchange itself. In the letter, the Governor claims that the federal government would be incapable of developing an exchange system that would be suited for Utah consumers.

Exchange expected to comply with federal standards

Utah is now seeking approval for its plans for a health insurance exchange. The Utah health insurance exchange must be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services in order for it to be considered compliant with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Governor Herbet believes that the state’s exchange will comply with the broad objectives of the federal government, but time will tell if the project will adhere to the more specific standards of the health care law.

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