Health insurance exchanges form the backbone of the private insurance reforms called for in the Affordable Care Act, as they will create a marketplace in each state for small employers and individuals without job-based health insurance to buy comprehensive health coverage, with premium subsidies available for those with low or moderate incomes.
In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, health law and policy expert Sara Rosenbaum and her team at George Washington University analyze the choices being made by the group of states that, together with the District of Columbia, have already begun establishing exchanges, either through legislation or executive order. While the brief reveals a great deal of variation in approach, it also shows a common tendency by states to accord their new exchanges considerable flexibility in making decisions about how they will operate and what standards they will apply to the insurance products sold.
You can also use the Commonwealth Fund’s new interactive map that displays state actions taken on health insurance exchanges. The map shows where states are in the continuum of establishing exchanges and provides detail about key exchange provisions in those states that have already passed exchange laws or issued executive orders. We will update this map over time.
For more resources and information, visit the Commonweath Fund website.