State Insurance Exchange Implementation Faces Challenges

In some places, state-level progress in building the law's insurance exchanges appears to be stalling because of political divisions.

Politico Pro: Maine Punts On Health Care Exchange
For almost a year and a half, the stars seemed aligned for Maine to build its own health insurance exchange. The tea party-affiliated governor, Paul LePage, backed an exchange in a surprise move last summer. An advisory committee he created also supported it. Instead, Republican lawmakers abandoned their efforts to create an exchange, and the state wound up with a stripped-down, 1½-page bill that only addresses the Affordable Care Act's Navigator program — if a state or federal exchange takes root in Maine. LePage signed it over the weekend. And now health care reform supporters are questioning the legitimacy of Maine's new law — because they think it directly conflicts with some of the most important rules about what navigators are supposed to do (Millman, 4/16).

The Associated Press/Denver Post: Colo. GOP Rejects Health Law Passed By Their Own
Colorado Republicans aren't happy with a health care law promoted by some of their own leaders in the state Legislature. In a platform resolution whose results were announced Monday, Republicans at the state GOP convention voted overwhelmingly to seek repeal of the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange... The platform resolution vote does not affect public policy, nor does it reflect the opinion of all Republicans. But the health exchange vote could be another portent of danger for Republican lawmakers who supported it (Wyatt, 4/16).

The Lund Report (an Oregon news service): Insurance Agents to Play Critical Role in Oregon's Insurance Exchange
Up until now, agents have been paid a commission by insurance companies. That will change once the exchange is operational, Kim Wirtz, who's in charge of policy and implementation, told the Health Insurance Exchange Board last week. Insurance agents will be paid by the exchange itself, using a 2.52 percent administrative fee, which equates to about $16 for people who purchase coverage (Waldroupe, 4/16). 

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