added April 7, 2011
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, consumers – individuals and small businesses – will be able to purchase health insurance and access subsidies for which they might be eligible through exchanges. These online exchanges are meant to be one-stop shops where consumers can compare benefit plans and premium costs from a number of participating insurers. To participate in the exchange, a qualified benefits plan must feature, at a minimum, the essential health benefits as outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The law gives each state an opportunity to set up its own exchange; if a state fails to do so, then HHS is required to run an exchange in that state.
Blue Cross believes it is imperative that the State of Kansas runs its own exchange and retain control over its insurance marketplace. We believe this is important for Kansas business owners and consumers, along with the Kansas insurance industry. Health insurance is fundamentally a local product, driven by specific conditions and circumstances of the local health care provider marketplace, and is best managed locally.