April 19, 2011

Resources to help in exchange implementation work

Families USA   ·  Link to Article

Despite opponents’ relentless attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, it is still the law of the land, and implementation continues to move forward. One of the most important provisions in the health care law is the creation of competitive health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges. Each state must have their exchange up and running by January 1, 2014, but in order to ensure proper implementation states should begin the planning process now.

To assist your state in creating their exchange model and governance structure, Families USA has developed the issue brief, Implementing Health Insurance Exchanges: Options for Governance and Oversight. There is a lot of flexibility in how states may design their exchanges, and there are many important governance and oversight issues for states to consider. This issue brief highlights key advocacy issues in the creation of user-friendly and transparent marketplaces.

Another issue to consider in the design of your state exchange is the requirement that each state establish a “navigator” program to help consumers make informed decisions. Some states are debating whether insurance brokers and agents perform all of the same functions as navigators and whether navigators should therefore be required to be licensed as brokers and agents. To help you define the role of the navigator, and explain how navigators differ from brokers and agents, Families USA has produced the issue brief, Navigators Need Not Be Licensed as Insurance Brokers or Agents. The brief, which advocates may use freely and brand as their own, was produced with input from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Health Care for America Now (HCAN), and the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP).

The competitive health insurance marketplaces will play an important role in ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. Please use these resources to assist your states in implementation of consumer-friendly, efficient structures and policies.

Thank you,

Jessica Larochelle
Field Director
Families USA