Pennsylvania health insurance exchange efforts put down by Governor Corbett
The Pennsylvania health insurance exchange will not be operated by its home state, according to an announcement from Governor Tom Corbett. The announcement comes as the state issues a letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The letter outlines the state’s stance on the Affordable Care Act and its plans concerning a health insurance exchange. The letter notes that the state has no intention of building or operating an exchange program due to the lack of guidance that has been offered by the federal government.
Federal law calls for states to host exchange programs
Per the Affordable Care Act, states are required to host health insurance exchanges. The Pennsylvania health insurance exchange was meant to provide the state’s residents with access to affordable, yet comprehensive coverage. This coverage would have been priced lower than policies that could be found directly from private insurers, thus increasing competition and driving down insurance prices overall. Despite the potential benefits that may have been seen through the Pennsylvania health insurance exchange, t he state has decided that it will not be responsible for the program.
Pennsylvania rejects exchange on grounds of little guidance from federal government
Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that have, thus far, opted out of the exchange initiative. The federal government will assume the responsibility of building and operating the exchange from this point forward. This causes some concern for Pennsylvania insurance officials, many of whom worry that the federal government will not be able to build a program that is suited for the state’s particular market. Insurance officials suggest that the federal government will take a very general approach to the program, as it tends to do with other initiatives that have a nationwide scope.
Advocacy groups call rejection a victory
Several advocacy groups that opposed the establishment of the Pennsylvania health insurance exchange call Governor Corbett’s move a major victory. Others claim that the state has missed an opportunity to ensure that consumers have access to the health insurance coverage that they need. The Department of Health and Human Services will oversee the establishment of an exchange program in the state, which will be fully operational by January 2014.