The state governor has announced that a new offer has been made to Kathleen Sebelius.
Governor Gary Herbert of Utah has just announced that he has updated the offer from his state to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, saying that half of the health care exchange will be run by the state, and the other half will be run by the federal government.
For months, the federal government has been trying to get states to operate their own marketplaces.
These health insurance exchanges will provide small businesses and individuals with a place to compare and shop for coverage and apply for tax credits against the cost associated with the policy premiums. That said, for the states that have chosen not to run their own marketplaces – as is the case among 32 across the country – the federal government has been prepared to step in and run them on their behalf.
The health insurance exchanges are a central element of the 2010 healthcare overhaul.
What makes Utah quite unique among the states is that it actually already has a health insurance exchange in operation . It was designed for use by small businesses so that they would be able to shop for plans in order to cover their employees. However, that marketplace isn’t designed in a way that fits with all of the federal overhaul regulations, for instance, that all of the policies sold through the exchange cover a broad range of services and cannot deny coverage based on medical history.
Utah had previously proposed that they continue to use their existing health insurance exchange, which they have named “Avenue H”. Under that proposal, it would have been the state’s primary exchange as of 2014 and would sell policies to both small businesses as per the federal healthcare overhaul. However, the legislators in the state refused to change the existing marketplace in a number of other ways in order to ensure that it would comply with the federal regulations.
Now, a new healthcare insurance marketplace option has been proposed by the state that would combine contributions by both Utah and the federal government.