Exchange Rules Evolving Rapidly

A week ago, OFM announced that they had begun to review the final insurance exchange regulations.  In an interview, Joel Ario, who until recently was the Director of Office of Insurance Exchanges at HHS, said that those exchange regulations should be coming out here in February.

Interestingly, while many folks had thought that the relatively flexible exchange regulations allowed by HHS would allow for an ease of uptake by states, there are signs nevertheless of some states pushing back.

On the one hand, some states last week essentially put a stop to state-sponsored health exchanges.  Kansas and Georgia both halted appropriations for further state action.

On the other hand, states like California, which are well down the road on their exchange, are still pushing back against the federal guidelines, asking that they be more proscriptive rather than less.

Here locally, Alaska is quietly moving forward and Washington is well on it’s way as well, with the Exchange Board meeting again this week ahead of a full launch in March.

In sum, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to exchanges, and we’re tracking it all very closely.  Keep your eyes on this for later this week.