Health Exchange Deadline for States Extended

by | Published on Dec 10, 2012 | Healthcare News

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The deadline for setting up a state-based health insurance exchange has been extended until December 14. Announcing this, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that this was based on requests from the governors of the still undecided states. The federal government will set up the exchange in states that do not set up their own health exchange, which is required to be operational by 2014.

So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia have established state exchanges. Another 14 states are opposed to the idea and have decided not to go with the initiative. About 13 states are still undecided on whether they should go ahead and four states have taken no action at all.

Millions of Americans still do not have health coverage. Obamacare mandates that by 2014, most Americans must have health insurance or pay fines. The health exchange is expected to be a virtual market place where individuals, families, and small businesses can shop for affordable health coverage. It will offer the following benefits:

  • The exchange will allow people to search online for various types of health plans, compare them, choose an affordable option and enroll
  • Every individual, regardless of income level, can get insurance coverage via the exchange
  • Uninsured Americans with income ranges between 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level will be considered for federal subsidies
  • Small businesses are eligible for a health care tax credit which will help them meet the cost of covering their employees

Starting from October 2013, American citizens can start enrolling in health care plans for which coverage begins from January 2014 onwards.

There is still a lot of debate about the management of the health insurance exchanges, the cost of running them, and whether physicians will be involved in their formation. It remains to be seen how the exchanges will affect healthcare services, payments to physician practices, and also their patients who purchase health plans through them. Regardless of developments, the services of a medical billing company would be indispensable to evaluate charges and insurance coverage, and to prepare accurate, timely claims.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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