Amid Supreme Court case, Health Insurance Exchanges in Flux

This weekend, a Wall Street Journal article summed up where various states are on implementing health exchanges, regardless of the Supreme Court outcome.  While some remain adamantly opposed and others are taking a wait-and-see approach, several states are moving ahead in the belief that the exchange is the best part of the new health care law.  Some are considering going even further by mandating that residents purchase health insurance or pay a fine, even if that part of the federal law is struck down.  Massachusetts is the only state with this requirement, but California and Rhode Island are considering moving ahead with their own mandate.  At issue will be the potential lack of federal subsidies to help individuals purchase coverage.  If the entire law is struck down, states will lose out on funding for exchange implementation, as well.

By now, New Yorkers are aware that the final state budget did not include provisions for a health care exchange infrastructure.  Governor Cuomo has vowed to move ahead with an Executive Order.  Three states-Rhode Island, Mississippi and Indiana have created exchanges by executive order.  So far, New York has accepted $88 million in federal dollars to set up an exchange.  Advocates and others will be watching Cuomo closely over the next several weeks to see if last week’s Supreme Court arguments have given him pause.

-Jaime Venditti, 4/2/12