Health insurance exchanges are showing signs of life
Health insurance exchanges are taking form throughout the U.S., per the Affordable Care Act. These exchanges are meant to act as a marketplace where consumers can find affordable health insurance coverage. Some of these exchanges will be built and managed by the states they call home, while others will be the responsibility of the federal government. Throughout the country, health insurance exchanges are set to begin open enrollment in October of this year before the policies they offer become active on January 1, 2014.
Exchanges are embracing new policies and insurers
As these exchanges inch closer to their open enrollment period, health insurance companies are beginning to feel the pressure of getting involved in these programs. The exchanges will primarily be populated by policies offered by private companies. The exchanges are expected to introduce new competition in the market, forcing insurers to lower prices for certain policies in order to appeal to the changing interests of consumers. Thus far, some 120 insurance new insurance applications and at least one new insurance provider have been introduced to 75% of the country.
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More insurers beginning to participate in exchanges
The Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency overseeing the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, considers this to be a good sign for the health insurance market. More insurers are submitting policy applications to state exchanges and have shown that they are willing to modify these policies to better comply with the Affordable Care Act and the minimum coverage requirements of some state-run exchanges.
15 states opt to manage their own exchange programs
Some 35 states have chosen not to run their own health insurance exchange. These exchanges will instead be managed by the federal government through the Department of Health and Human Services. Just 15 states have chosen to manage their own exchanges but have been calling for more guidance from the federal government in order to ensure that these exchanges are able to provide affordable health insurance coverage.