Michigan may team with federal government for a health insurance exchange

Health Insurance Refund

Health Insurance Refund

State may not be able to meet the standards imposed by health care law

Michigan may team with the federal government to build a health insurance exchange. Governor Rick Snyder, along with state legislators, has proposed the idea, noting that it may be the only way for an insurance exchange to take root in the state. Earlier this year, the state received $9.8 million from the Department of Health and Human Services in order to build an exchange program. The money has since been tied up in political battles between the state’s Republicans and Democrats. Depending on the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the state may be unable to meet a deadline imposed by the law, thus losing control of an exchange to the federal government.

Partnership with federal government may make health insurance exchange possible

Last year, the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs director, Steve Hilfinger, was charged with the creation of the state’s health insurance exchange. The director has, for months, been warning that the state is unable to build an exchange without access to the funds allotted by the federal government. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, states have until January 1, 2013, to submit their plans concerning the establishment of a health insurance exchange. These exchanges are required to be operational by January 1, 2014.

Failure to comply with standards would mean loss of control over the program

If Michigan cannot comply with these requirements, it will lose control of any health insurance exchange built within its borders to the federal government. State officials would not have the ability to manage or regulate the operations of the health insurance exchange in this scenario. The differences in state and federal regulations could put a large amount of stress on the state’s health insurance industry.

Officials expect half-million residents to receive coverage through exchange

State officials expect that a health insurance exchange would provide more than 500,000 state residents with access to affordable coverage. The state has not yet released any particular details concerning the technology that will be used for the exchange or how its various operations will be facilitated. The state may be inclined to continue pursuing a health insurance exchange in the absence of the Affordable Care Act.

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