States Confront Myriad Of Health Law Implementation Issues

States face fallout from decisions on whether to implement key parts of the health law, including exchanges in California and Washington -- where dental insurance will be mandated in plans offered in the marketplaces -- and Florida, which missed out on co-ops and faces a decision on expanding Medicaid in 2013.

Health News Florida: Florida Missed Out On Consumer Co-ops
One of the most innovative parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- a loan program to start consumer health-care cooperatives -- died this week, a victim of the fiscal cliff deal. Of the two dozen co-ops in as many states that got funding, none was in Florida. PPACA's Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans (CO-OPs) are non-profit member-owned insurers or managed-care plans that were created to expand competition and try out new ideas in health care (Gentry, 1/4).

Medscape: Dental Insurance For Some Children Mandated In 2 States
The states of California and Washington will require people who buy medical insurance through new health plan exchanges to also buy pediatric dental benefits regardless of whether they have children, according to official documents and interviews. The new requirements will kick in on January 1, 2014, as part of the states' implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Together the 2 states are offering some of the first responses to a conundrum embedded in the new law: Although the law requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty, it exempts dental benefits from this "individual mandate" (Harrison, 1/3).

Medscape: Florida Facing Huge Medicaid, 'Obamacare' Decisions In 2013
Dealing with issues that affect the health care of millions of poor and uninsured residents, Florida leaders in 2013 could move forward with a long-awaited overhaul of the Medicaid system and likely will decide how to carry out the federal Affordable Care Act. Both issues are highly complex and politically controversial. Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders want to require almost all Medicaid beneficiaries statewide to enroll in managed-care plans, an effort that has drawn opposition from Democratic lawmakers and some patient advocates. Meanwhile, after waging a legal and political battle, Scott and his GOP colleagues face the reality that the Affordable Care Act --- better known as Obamacare --- is here to stay (Saunders, 1/3).

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