Lawmakers nix plans for South Dakota health insurance exchange
South Dakota lawmakers have determined that the state will not build its own health insurance exchange. Instead, work to build the South Dakota health insurance exchange will be taken up by the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services will be tasked with operating and paying for the development of the exchange program as required by federal law. The move represents the state’s continued opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
State continues opposition of Affordable Care Act
South Dakota is one of 26 states that have shown opposition to the federal health care overhaul since it was passed in 2010. Though the law was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, these states are still holding on to hope that the upcoming presidential elections will put an end to the Affordable Care Act. Until that time, the South Dakota health insurance exchange will be the responsibility of the federal government.
Health insurance program too costly, according to Governor Daugaard
Governor Dennis Daugaard claims that the South Dakota health insurance exchange would cost between $6.3 million and $7.7 million each year to operate. The Governor suggests that the costs associated with the exchange program are too great to be considered viable for the state. The exchange will still be a place for consumers to find affordable health insurance coverage, but the state will not have any control over the regulations governing the program or determine what the minimum coverage benefits consumers can expect to receive therein.
Insurers so interest in South Dakota health insurance exchange
The decision is not expected to dissuade the state’s insurance companies from participating in the exchange program. In fact, many insurance companies have expressed enthusiasm over the concept of a South Dakota health insurance exchange, expected a steep increase in business as more consumers find it possible to receive coverage at an affordable price. Part of the enthusiasm coming from insurers may be due to the federal insurance mandate, which requires U.S. citizens to purchase and maintain some form of health insurance coverage.