They are currently preparing for this enormous task which is rapidly approaching.
Officials from the Obama Administration are already preparing for the tremendous task of operating the new health insurance exchanges in approximately half of the states in the country.
Those states are the ones where local officials are unable or unwilling to operate it themselves.
The health insurance exchanges are the very heart of the health care reforms that were put into place by President Obama. Running them will be an enormous task that had not been expected by federal officials, as they were anticipating greater state participation.
When the law regarding the health insurance exchanges was created, the expectation was different.
At that time, lawmakers and the President had expected that virtually all of the states would establish their own health insurance exchanges, so that its residents could easily inform themselves regarding various plans and shop for the best coverage and prices. However, the Republicans in many of the states have been resistant to virtually every part of the healthcare reforms, to the point of refusing to take on the job themselves, with or without the financial assistance offered by the federal government.
Now the federal government must create the health insurance exchanges itself, regardless of whether or not the state officials are willing to help.
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According to top federal insurance regulator, Michael Hash, “We realize that not all states will be ready to establish these exchanges by 2014, so we are setting up a federally facilitated exchange in those states.” Hash went on to point out that “We are on track to go live in October 2013, which is the beginning of the first open season for the individual and small group markets.”
Thirteen state governors, representing almost one third of the population of the entire country, have issued letters to the Obama administration indicating their intentions to establish their own health insurance exchanges. The compete applications for the marketplaces must be submitted by November 16, only 10 days after the presidential election.
It is believed that when all is said and done, approximately half of the state health insurance exchanges will be run by the federal government.