by Lyju Kuruvilla on  January 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM Health Insurance News
 US Government to Help States Build Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Steps have been taken by the Departments of Health and Human Services and The Treasury to set up Affordable Insurance Exchanges and One-Stop Marketplaces. Based on their health needs, customers can now select a private health insurance and have similar insurance choices.

Middle-class families can now obtain access to unprecedented tax relief that will significantly cut down the cost of coverage, based on the proposed rules.

When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010, more than half of the states had taken actions to build an Exchange. The HHS gave $185 million to 13 states and the District of Columbia to help them in building Affordable Insurance Exchanges and, with the Treasury, posted 3 proposed rules that will offer a simple, streamlined, and affordable path for customers to use the Exchanges to obtain private health insurance.

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act creates Affordable Insurance Exchanges that will allow those individuals, families and small businesses who qualify to shop for coverage.

The 3 proposed rules released by HHS and Treasury focus on the following:

Easy, Simple Access to Coverage for Consumers and Small Businesses:

New rules will make it simple for customers to join high-quality health plans and help them pay for health coverage through premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions. Small employers taking part in the Small Business Health Options Program can now give their employees a choice of health plans and cut their costs with new tax credits.

Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit:

Premium tax credits will be made to individuals and families which will help them to pay insurance costs and increasing access to health coverage. Millions of middle class American families will be benefited by this.

Medicaid Eligibility:

Coordinating the Exchange with Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program eligibility will make enrollment perfectly consistent for Americans who are qualified and also reduce the states administrative burden.

The administration will lead an aggressive outreach campaign and ask the employers, consumers, state leaders, health care providers and insurers and the American People to comment on the proposed rules. Based on the feedback HHS receives from the American people, the departments expect to modify the proposed rules issued.

Source: Medindia

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