Nebraska lawmakers and insurance officials are currently looking for a qualified contractor to build and operate its health insurance exchange.
The Nebraska Department of Insurance is ironing out the final details on the exchange that are due to the federal government by the end of the month. If states do not submit all information in time, the federal government will step in and take over the establishment of a statewide exchange. The health insurance exchanges are mandated under a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that aims to increase access to healthcare and insurance coverage for citizens across the country. The Nebraska Department of Insurance estimates the exchange would serve up to 300,000 enrolled residents by 2016 alone, according to a recent study from the insurance department.
The Nebraska Department of Insurance’s report outlines the demands that will be placed on the contractor it selects to help deploy the health insurance exchange. The preliminary phases will involve designing a web-based marketplace solution to make the review and purchase of health insurance easy for Nebraska residents. The selected contractor will be tasked with designing, developing and implementing the exchange to combine individual policies and the Small Business Health Options Program for employers.
In a contributing column to the Fremont Tribune, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman called upon state residents and employers to share their opinions regarding the health insurance exchange to collect professional feedback during the brainstorming phase. Heineman explained many issues remain unsettled with regard to the exchange, such as essential health benefit plans and other mandates placed on states by the federal government.