Utah pulls back on plans for health insurance exchange
The Utah government has decided to back away from its plans concerning a health insurance exchange. Late last year, the state announced that it would work to make its existing health insurance exchange, called Avenue H, compliant with federal standards outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Avenue H is seven years old and has been offering health insurance policies to consumers throughout the state. The initiatives to make the health insurance exchange compliant with federal standards has been withdrawn by Governor Gary Herbert.
Governor withdraws efforts to renovate Avenue H
Governor Herbert initially welcomed the idea of making the state’s exchange system compliant with federal standards, though the Governor does oppose the Affordable Care Act in several ways. Several major changes would have to be made to Avenue H in order to make it compliant with the health care law. All of these changes would be exceedingly expensive, despite the fact that the state would have received financial aid from the federal government for its effort.
State to partner with federal government
Though Utah is no longer looking to renovate Avenue H, the state will be working with the federal government to establish a comprehensive health insurance system. Utah is the eighth state to enter into such a partnership with the federal government. The partnership will likely establish a health insurance exchange that caters to individuals, while Avenue H adopts a focus on small businesses. The federal government will hold authority over the state’s health insurance exchange, though the Utah government will be able to introduce some modest regulations to the system.
Health insurance law likely to continue causing strife
Health insurance continues to be a complicated issue in the U.S. The Affordable Care Act has sought to change many of the country’s health care problems for the better, but the law has had trouble finding support throughout the country. Only 18 states have plans to build and operate their own health insurance exchange, with 22 others opting out of the federal law’s provisions entirely.