A “disappointed” State Health Benefit Exchange Board met in SeaTac on Thursday and questioned the consulting firm responsible for the health insurance processing problems that have left 6000 HBE enrollee accounts in limbo.
After two years of chairing the State Health Benefit Exchange, Margaret Stanley is stepping down. But the main agenda item for the HBE Board Meeting at SeaTac was a draft budget for the next two years.
That is the picture emerging from proposed 2015 insurance rates in the 10 states that have completed their filings, which stretch from Rhode Island to Washington state. In all but one of them, the largest health insurer in the state is proposing to increase premiums between 8.5% and 22.8% for next year.
Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) Advisory Committee members were not happy to hear that individual health plan premium rates in the HBE are expected to go up almost 10% on average in 2015. The Committee held its monthly meeting on June 5th in Olympia.
Angling to avoid political peril, the Obama administration Monday granted employers another delay in a heavily criticized requirement that medium-to-larger firms cover their workers or face fines.
House Republicans are offering a most-intriguing idea that could bridge the gap between President Obama’s backtracking and the realities of the insurance marketplace. Last November, public furor swelled when it became clear that a central promise of Obamacare somehow got forgotten, somewhere along the line — that if you liked your current health-insurance policy, you could keep it. Obama allowed state insurance commissioners to reinstate last year’s policies, though it was a bit late to unring the bell, and Washington’s Mike Kreidler was having none of it. Now House Republicans have another idea — are suggesting that Washington allow lower-cost catastrophic health plans from other states to be offered here.
While Feds Conduct a ‘National Damage Control Tour,’ State Health Exchange Tour Celebrates a Website that Works — Except When the Feds Shut It Down Again
On Sunday it was at the Farmers Market in Olympia. The colorful trailer and information booths looked sharp, and computers and assistors were available for those who wanted to fill out applications, but the feds even ruined that. Later in the day the state website went down and according to state exchange staff the problem was at the federal level where the information systems connect.