+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
DENVER--Saying that he wants Utah's insurance exchange “to survive and thrive as we originally envisioned it,” the state's governor asked President Obama to certify the exchange as complying with the federal health care reform law.
In a Dec. 10 letter, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) said he hopes the state's exchange, which was created before the Affordable Care Act, can become “a model for other states to use as a platform for their own versions regarding healthcare reform.”
The governor also asked the president to instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the Utah exchange model as the minimum federal standard for ACA-compliant exchanges. “I am confident that if you make this change, several other states will join Utah and request certification for 'state based exchanges' based on our model, thus spreading a proven approach that lowers costs and increases access,” Herbert said.
Obama has “supported giving flexibility to the states,” Herbert noted. “Certifying our current exchange will give us that flexibility.”
Herbert noted Utah is required to inform HHS of its plan regarding a federal health benefit exchange under ACA by Dec. 14, and he asked for “help” regarding his requests before that deadline.
The governor said the Utah exchange “is now fully functional, offering a choice of 140 health insurance plans to 7,646 individuals in 318 small businesses throughout Utah. We are now embarking on a dramatic expansion of our exchange to more small businesses and we plan to include individuals and larger businesses in our exchange in the near future.”
By contrast, the governor wrote, HHS officials' current interpretation of ACA is to require states to take a more government-centric, standardized approach to exchanges. “This results in less choice and more reliance on public programs,” he wrote.
For example, Herbert said, the state is “committed to helping those who need the support” of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. “However,” he noted, “we never intended for our exchange to administer Medicaid, enforce the individual mandate, or distribute federal tax credits.”
An HHS spokesman was not available for comment on Herbert's letter.
Herbert said that Utah has developed several innovative proposals to reduce costs, increase quality, and assure access to health care for Medicaid recipients. But when it has submitted waiver requests, HHS officials “met them with either reluctance or rejection.”
The governor submitted a list to the president of all Medicaid requests it has submitted since 2007. Seven of the nine were rejected, Herbert said.
“When HHS cherry-picks parts they favor and rejects other vital plan components, it becomes impossible to accomplish our overall objectives,” he said.
By Tripp Baltz
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).