Calif. Regulator Seeks To Bar Anthem From Small Business Health Exchange

Meanwhile, Minnesota officials announce the opening of a call center Sept. 3 to answer consumer questions about the state's online insurance marketplace, which will begin enrolling people a month later.

Los Angeles Times: Regulator Wants To Bar Anthem From Small-Business Health Exchange
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants industry giant Anthem Blue Cross barred from the state's new health exchange for small businesses because he says the company imposes excessive rate hikes. Jones said the state's largest for-profit health insurer should be denied access to the state-run market where thousands of small employers will purchase health coverage for their workers (Terhune, 6/13).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: California Insurance Chief Wants To Bar Anthem From Selling Small Business Coverage
Citing a pattern of 'unreasonable rate increases' for small business customers by Anthem Blue Cross, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Thursday he will recommend that the state's new online insurance marketplace exclude the firm from selling small business coverage (Appleby, 6/13).

The Associated Press: Minn. Health Insurance Call Center Opens In Sept.
The call center for Minnesota's new health insurance marketplace will be operational Sept. 3 to help prepare consumers for buying coverage when open enrollment begins a month later, officials said Wednesday. MNsure's executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, updated board members on customer assistance plans for the exchange, where starting Oct. 1 about 1.3 million Minnesotans are expected to get their coverage, including 300,000 who don't currently have health insurance (Karnowski, 6/13).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Preparing For Flood Of Consumer Questions On Insurance Exchanges
On Oct. 1, individual consumers and small businesses will be able to enroll in the online health insurance marketplaces known as exchanges. Minnesota, where the state is running the exchange, and Florida, where the federal government will be in charge, are preparing in different ways. Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans who don't already have health insurance through employers, Medicare or some other source are required to get it as of Jan. 1 or pay a fine. Subsidies will be available for people who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level to buy insurance (Girshman, 6/13).

In other news related to health exchanges -

Health News Florida: Prepare For Launch Of 'Get Covered' Campaign
On June 22, consumer-health groups across the nation will launch what they hope will be a massive education and enrollment campaign to find uninsured people and get them ready to sign up for health coverage. The campaign will be called “Get Covered, America!” Its official launch is June 22 because that marks 100 days until the opening of state and federal online “marketplaces” where the uninsured can shop for coverage (Gentry, 6/13).

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