Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Health Insurance Exchange That Won't Be a "Train Wreck"

Every week, I get an email from the Maryland Health Connection––the state run health insurance exchange.

Maryland is one of a minority of states that are building their own Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") exchange.

You can go to their site and sign up for these weekly updates.

Let me suggest that Maryland is an example of what an on-track and well organized effort looks like for any exchange hoping to be ready to enroll people on October 1––and ensure that they will be covered should they walk into a doctor's office on January 1, 2014.

Maryland is simply ticking through all of the key milestones they must meet. The latest release reviewed its efforts to launch the connector program (those who will assist people in signing up), the status of the carrier filings (Maryland Blue Cross has filed for an average increase of 25% for individual coverage warning young people could pay as much as 150% more), the timelines for carrier submissions of coverage packages, and they outlined their third party administration program to be able to launch the small business choice (SHOP) option––unlike the federal exchange Maryland will have the SHOP option.

I also recently heard from an insurance broker friend of mine in Maryland. He reports that the Maryland exchange is reaching out in a very constructive way to insurance brokers and "they are listening to us." Wow!

Now, here it is April 30th and what have we heard from the feds on their progress on each of the critical milestones toward being ready with the federal exchange in the 33 states not building their own?

The comparison between the transparent and organized way Maryland is handling this and the Obama administration's so far top secret approach is striking.


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