Thursday, February 14, 2013

Runs on the ObamaExchange

Tomorrow's the deadline for states which have yet to make their pitch to Secretary Shecantbeserious regarding how they want to handle those Exchanges.

Here's a quick run-down as of this afternoon:

■ Mississippi is sticking with its game of chicken: they've officially turned down Mme Secretary's offer of a Fed-State partnership. Assuming they don't reach some other arrangement, The Magnolia State will default to a Federally-run model.

■ FoIB Patrick P reports that Illinois has been conditionally-approved to set up its State-Fed Partnership type Exchange. Patrick asks, with 16 carriers offering over 260 plans, "think Navigators will be able to handle explaining this?"

Exit question: It's clear that states choosing a Federally-run Exchange forfeit tax-payer subsidies. What's not so clear is what happens if it's a Partnership operation?

■ And FoIB Jeff M, checking in from The Tar Heel State, sends along the news that North Carolina will not be setting up its own Exchange, putting further pressure on Ms Shecatbeserious and her all-star band of technowizards to design and implement yet another Federally-run version.

■ And, finally, via email from UHC, we learn that, nationally, "the deadline for employers to notify employees of the availability of Health Benefit Exchanges has been delayed from March 1, 2013 to late summer or fall of 2013." Oh goody. Because nothing says "success" like pushing back crucial deadlines as the clock ticks down....

And this just in: "The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hopes to take bids from insurers that want to participate in the federal health insurance exchange programs from March 28 to April 30." Yes, one whole month to submit your bids - you hear that Anthem, UHC and the rest?

It'll be interesting to see which carriers take the bait.
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