Despite assistance from the federal government, many states remain torn on what to do about health insurance exchanges. In Nebraska, legislators are currently weighing their options. The burden of unanswered questions and vague concepts of federal regulations have slowed the states progress toward an exchange. Nebraska has turned to insurance analysts for aid, but was met with disappointment after analysts told legislators that more guidance from the federal government was needed before any move on an exchange could be made.
In light of this news, the state is confronted with three options: Continue building an exchange following vague federal guidelines, join a regional exchange program comprised of neighboring states, or allow the federal government to take the reins and built an exchange itself. Each option bears implications regarding how insurance will be purchased once exchanges come into being. Thus far, Nebraska seems to be leaning toward letting the government do all the work.
Michael Sciullo, a state health insurance analyst, spoke with reporters regarding the issue, saying that the state has yet to choose a course of action. Given the costs associated with the exchanges and the controversial nature of the overarching health care reform law, the state may be waiting for the last minute to make a decision. All states have until 2013 to submit an exchange plan to the Department of Health and Human Services for approval. 2014 marks the final deadline for exchanges to be fully operational.