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Health Insurance Exchange Question & Answers

2013 November 5
by Sarah Fields

Daniel asks…

Will lawmakers eventually create a national health insurance exchange instead of the state based exchanges?

Also, is it possible still for health insurance companies to be given the freedom to sell their policies across state lines?
I see. Health Insurance Reform really is a gigantic crock of old smelly socks then. It doesn’t matter to Obama if you get health CARE, as long you get health INSURANCE. There is no guaranteed access to care, only coverage by a health insurance policy and even that is hardly a guarantee. Just more of my dollars down the drain and the insurance companies get to make off with my money. Right there with the banks!

Sarah Fields answers:

The federal government is required by the Affordable Care Act to set up national insurance exchanges if one or more states opt out of doing so. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act allocated no money to make that happen.

The ACA allows health insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, but provides little incentive to do so since each state is still allowed to regulate health insurance policies. That means a national health insurance provider would have to comply with the regulations in every state, plus the minimum federal requirements. To provide any significant incentive, the law would have to allow health insurance companies to comply with just the regulations of the state in which they’re based. This would, for example, allow a single man to purchase insurance from a state that doesn’t require that all policies have a maternity benefit and thus get a lower rate.

Lizzie asks…

What evidence exists that Obama is opposed to small business?

He streamlined the regulation process.
Delivered tax cuts for small businesses in his stimulus bill.
Passed a health care reform law which exempts the first 50 employees, and allows businesses to move their employees onto state health insurance exchanges; potentially saving them thousands.
I could go on and on, but is there really any foundation to the claims that Obama is anti-small business?

Sarah Fields answers:

‘the private sector is doing fine’
‘you didn’t built that’
the tax/penalty for not providing health insurance
wants to increase the taxes on those making more than $200,000 per year (oh wait he changed that, now it’s $250,000)
has indicated he wants legislation to penalize companies that don’t use ‘green’ energy alternatives

Donna asks…

If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is Constitutional, what will happen when the states?

that have so far refused to more forward on creating their health insurance exchanges, request more time to create them? They’re going to say that they didn’t have enough time between the ruling, and the January 1, 2014 deadline to create the exchanges.

Should they be given extra time, or should they be told “too bad, so sad”?

Sarah Fields answers:

The court will most likely affirm the individual mandate component of the Affordable Care Act by a 5-4 margin.

Opposing will be Justices Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Roberts

Supporting will be Justices, Kennedy, Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsberg, and Breyer.

Once the ACA is law the states will have to comply with the individual mandate which requires all eligible citizens to maintain a minimum level of health coverage or make a shared responsibility payment of $95 per person, per year.

If a state misses the implementation deadline they risk losing funding for transportation, infrastructure, and other federally funded programs.

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