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School Yourself On Insuring Yourself In 2014

A Health Insurance Exchange Primer – Get Your Facts!

From Kaiser Health News, via The Washington Post:

By Julie Appleby, Tuesday, March 29, 5:19 PM

It seems like a simple idea: Create new marketplaces, called “exchanges,” where consumers can comparison shop for health insurance — sort of like shopping online for a hotel room or airline ticket.

But, like almost everything else connected with the health-care overhaul law, state-based insurance exchanges are embroiled in politics. Some Republican governors are threatening to refuse to set up exchanges unless they get more flexibility over Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor. Others say they don’t want to implement any part of the federal health-care law.

Last week, Louisiana officials decided against setting up an exchange. And in Montana, GOP lawmakers killed a GOP-sponsored Senate bill to set up an exchange. Still, some Republican officials are embracing them. And consumer advocates, disease groups and industry lobbyists are jockeying for influence over how the exchanges will be regulated.

If done well, proponents say, exchanges could make it easier to buy health insurance and possibly lead to lower prices because of increased competition. But, if designed poorly, experts say, healthy people could avoid the exchanges, leaving them to sicker people with rising premiums.

Here are some common questions.

Q: What is an exchange, as envisioned by the health-care law?

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Tea Party Upends S.C. Insurance Exchange Bill

State House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, and seven other Republican state House members today removed their support from legislation that would create a state health insurance exchange.

The legislation, created by state Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, picked up sponsorship from about a dozen Republican representatives earlier this month in addition to its initial Democratic co-sponsors, but the bill has now lost most of its GOP supporters.

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