Several states ahead of the curve on insurance exchanges

Information and offerings will be in place earlier than required by feds

1 | Health Reform, Insurance

— Most states that have chosen to run their own health insurance marketplaces or exchanges will be running ahead of schedule in the offerings and information they will provide their consumers and small businesses, according to a new study.

The report, done by researchers at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute, looked at the 17 states and the District of Columbia that have opted to run their own exchanges. (Kansas officials opted to have the federal government run the Kansas exchange.)

They concluded that consumers in those states "will likely have a greater ability to make informed choices regarding their coverage as well as more information about plan quality than what current federal regulations require."

The study, released today, was done for the Commonwealth Fund.

The insurance marketplaces, which are scheduled to begin enrollments Oct. 1 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2014, are intended to remedy some shortcomings of the current individual and small-business health insurance markets, including high premiums, lack of choice and inadequate coverage.

The report's authors found that nine of the 17 states plan to display data on quality in their marketplaces in 2014, two years earlier than the federal government requires. And in almost all the states, Small Business Health Options (SHOP) marketplaces will enable companies to offer workers a choice of more than one plan, something not required until 2015. Also, eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted rules that require or provide incentives for insurers to offer plans in the marketplaces.

The full report can be downloaded here.

The Commonwealth Fund website also has an interactive map with information on health insurance marketplaces across the U.S.

Related story:

Kansas on track for Oct. 1 Medicaid/insurance exchange connection



The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. The News Service is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy-making environment. All News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution, including a link back to KHI.org when a story is reposted online. An automatically updated feed of headlines and more from KHI can be included on your website using the KHI widget. More about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 233-5443.










         The Kansas Budget Puzzle

This interactive feature allows you to make tax and spend decisions and build your own version of the state budget.
See if you can solve the budget puzzle!