The future of their insurance exchanges will depend on the decision that is made.
The state based health insurance exchange marketplaces have already faced a stream of roadblocks as they are considered and created in order to comply with the health care reform law of 2010, and now they face yet another hurdle that will need to be overcome.
The Supreme Court is expected to give its ruling about the constitutionality of the heart of the law in June.
The future of all of the decisions that have been made so far in order to comply with the overhaul are now hanging in the balance of whether or not the law is overturned. The results will likely vary quite widely, depending on what each state has accomplished so far, and what “plan B” has been put in place if the federal law will not be continued.
For example, state officials in Maryland said they haven’t bothered to create a fall back strategy.
Instead, that state believes that it can benefit from an insurance exchange regardless of whether or not the health care reform is upheld. According to Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown (D), who is leading the implementation work in that state, “We are committed to finding ways to help Marylanders lead healthier lives no matter the outcome.” That said “there are too many potential outcomes of the Supreme Court case to speculate.”
Should the law be deemed unconstitutional, there will be several choices available, including overturning the entire statute to eliminating either one or both of the issues that would have been deemed unconstitutional, which are the “individual mandate” , which essentially requires all Americans to obtain medical coverage, and the Medicaid expansion.
Even if the smallest element had to be removed – the individual mandate, that is – it could mean that the success of the entire state insurance exchanges could be placed at risk. The health care reform law currently says that these marketplaces must open on January 1, 2014, so that they can make it possible for all Americans – individuals and small businesses – to find and purchase high quality, affordable medical coverage that will meet their needs, without being penalized for a pre-existing condition.