When can people get health coverage through an exchange?
Coverage will not begin through a health insurance exchange until January 1, 2014.
Did the HCA apply for federal planning and implementation grants for a health insurance exchange?
Yes. In August, 2010, the HCA submitted a planning grant application to Health and Human Services and received a grant of nearly $1 million (the maximum for any state) for health insurance exchange planning and implementation.
Does submitting the application, or receiving and using the federal grant funds, obligate Washington State to develop and implement a health insurance exchange?
No. Washington State will use the grant funds to investigate high-level requirements and business functions surrounding the design and development of an exchange. These federally-funded activities do not obligate Washington State to develop or implement
What is the Washington State Health Care Authority doing with the health insurance exchange planning grant?
The HCA will use the funds to hire project staff and consulting services to identify and document the high-level business functions and policy issues of a Washington State health insurance exchange. The focus of this work will be assessment of the technol
After an exchange is implemented, can an individual, family, or employer still purchase a health plan in the current private health insurance market?
Yes. The exchange and private health insurance market will offer health plans under the same rules for consumer protection and rating of health plan premiums.
What are some of the new features offered by a health insurance exchange?
An exchange will: Certify whether a health plan is qualified to be offered in the exchange, which includes examining and posting premium increases. Employees of small-employer groups can select a health plan within the range designated by their employer. P
Is there more information on health insurance exchanges?
Yes. The Kaiser Family Foundation published the “ Focus on Health Reform ,” which describes many of the activities to be performed by an exchange.
Copyright © 2012 Washington State Health Care Authority
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