The Affordable Health Care Act requires states to set up and operate health insurance exchanges by 2014. In order to meet this deadline, states need to start planning now to ensure compliance with future federal regulations. The state health insurance exchanges were intended to make purchasing health insurance easier for consumers and businesses. However, so far, citizens are likely to see increased government spending to pay for these pricey exchanges while receiving decreased quality in actual healthcare services.
These state insurance exchanges will be one of the most expensive and technologically complex pieces of Obamacare. The recent $1 million U.S. Health and Human Services grant to the NC Department of Insurance will only cover an incredibly small fraction of the costs necessary to set up and maintain a North Carolina insurance exchange. Setting up the exchange will include:
– Assessing current IT systems and infrastructure
– Developing partnerships with the community during the planning process
– Determining rules needed to build the exchanges
– Planning for call centers
– Hiring staff
– Planning for integration and coordination between the exchanges, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Maybe instead of working on an exchange program, North Carolina and the federal government should work on addressing the rising costs of health insurance premiums to both individuals and businesses due to this supposed “healthcare” revolution.