State-based Healthcare Exchange Blueprint Deadline Extended

The President has announced that states will be allowed more time to provide plans for implementing healthcare exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Under the Act, states must indicate whether they will create health insurance exchanges.  If a state does not opt to create an exchange, the federal government will supply health insurance to its citizens through a federal exchange.  At present, 20 states have adopted some sort of plan for a state healthcare exchange, 11 have opted not to create a state exchange, and the remainder are undecided.  The deadline to opt into the state healthcare exchange system remains November 16, 2012.

While states must still act promptly to determine whether they will participate, they now have additional time to plan for implementation.  Before the extension was granted, states would have been required to submit a Blueprint application, detailing implementation of the healthcare exchange, by November 16, 2012.  Now, however, Blueprints must be submitted by December 14, 2012.  Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, has indicated in a letter to state governors that the extension was granted to provide states with additional support in developing implementation plans.  However, some commentators argue that the extension was granted in response to the “wait-and-see” approach adopted by the states in light of the recent election.

© 2012 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

For more information, contact info@pvwlaw.com

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Governor Heineman Determines that Nebraska will have a Federal Healthcare Exchange

Governor Heineman announced that he has opted to have Nebraska adopt a Federal Healthcare Exchange.  In support  of his decision, Heineman pointed out that a State Healthcare Exchange would cost Nebraskans $470 million more than a Federal Healthcare Exchange.

Health care exchanges are mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.   A healthcare exchange is an organization in the health insurance market that is expected to ease the complications of shopping for coverage for consumers and small businesses.  Exchanges are expected to create a more organized and competitive market.  Exchanges will offer different health insurance  plans and will be organized  in a way that shows a clear comparison of available plan options based on price, benefits and services, and quality.  For individuals, a federal healthcare exchange will create a more efficient healthcare market while also making purchasing healthcare more affordable and understandable.

© 2012 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

For more information, contact info@pvwlaw.com

 

Nebraska Will Wait to Implement Health Care Exchanges

Governor Heineman recently said Nebraska will wait to set up a health care exchange until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) is constitutional.  The health care exchanges are intended to offer health insurance to those currently without coverage.  While Nebraska is planning a program in case the Act is ruled constitutional, Governor Heineman said it does not make sense to build a formal proposal until the Court has decided.  The Act requires states to have a health care exchange plan certified by January of 2013.

© 2011 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

For more information, contact info@pvwlaw.com