The federal government has given the thumbs up to eight more states that will be able to run their own health insurance exchanges, with seven of them being wholly in charge of the process and one, Arkansas, working with the feds on its program. California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah are all approved now as well, for a total of 20 states with exchanges.
It’s all part of the Obama administration’s 2010 health care law, which has proved a sore point for states with Republican governors. In many of those states, including four of the newest to get approved, the governors have fought against having to set up such exchanges. Despite that, the wheels are in motion.
“I do think at lot of eyes are on Utah,” a director at Leavitt Partners, which advises states about how to create their own exchanges told USA Today. ”Utah has had its own exchange since 2006. “I think it also helps that Idaho was there. I think that bodes well for other ‘red states.’ “
Many Republican-run states haven’t set up exchanges yet in a show of disapproval for the health care law, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that in 10 months all 50 states will provide access to a new marketplace for residents to find health insurance. Even if their states don’t run one, there will be a federal exchange available.
Anyone seeking health insurance will be able to go to either a state or federal website and view different insurance plans, compare prices and services and then choose the right fit. All health insurance plans have to meet federal guidelines before they can be offered to consumers.