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"Plan B" For Health Insurance Exchanges In Development

03/25/13

  10:52:45 am, by MedBen5   , 264 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

"Plan B" For Health Insurance Exchanges In Development

CQ HealthBeat (via The Commowealth Fund) reports that Health and Human Services is making contingency plans in the event that health care exchanges are not ready in time for launch.

Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, admitted that some state exchanges may not be operational by October 1. But he assured people that even if the state models aren’t ready by then, the federal government will ensure that all Americans who need insurance will have access to an exchange.

Speaking at a national policy meeting of America’s Health Insurance Plans earlier this month, Cohen said that making contingency plans is necessary. “I think it’s only prudent to not assume everything is going to work perfectly on day one and to make sure that we’ve got plans in place to address things that may happen.”

Also appearing on the AHIP panel was Henry Chao, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official who’s overseeing the technology for the exchange launch. “The time for debating about the size of text on the screen or the color or is it a world-class user experience, that’s what we used to talk about two years ago,” he said. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

Speaking with reporters afterward, Cohen said, “I’m absolutely confident every state will have an exchange that will be functioning and ready for enrollment” on Oct. 1. However, he added, “I think there is some possibility that the type of exchange may be different than what we’re looking at today.”

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