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Health plan association weighs in on Health Insurance Exchanges Posted: October 8th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Responding to a request for comments from the Department of Health and Human Services, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry group, has submitted its recommendations on the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges. Not scheduled to debut until 2014, the exchanges are intended to help keep the cost of health insurance reasonable.

In its comments, AHIP expressed concern that the exchanges may serve as a supplemental health insurance market, rather than as a replacement for current markets. In addition, the group emphasized that rules for the exchanges be established well in advance of 2014, so that health insurance companies that wish to participate in the exchanges have time to meet government requirements.

Other suggestions from AHIP include the development of:

  • Structured enrollment periods for the exchanges
  • Uniform standards for key data elements
  • Cooperation with groups, such as the American Academy of Actuaries, to create sound methodology for exchange mechanisms
  • Transparent rule-making that allows for industry input

Finally, AHIP notes that many states already have regulatory agencies for health insurance oversight. Instead of creating duplicate oversight within the exchanges, the health plan association urges that states be allowed to implement the Health Insurance Exchanges as well as regulate them.