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States finalize health plan details

Lawmakers in New Jersey are drafting new rules regarding the establishment of a state health insurance exchange as the federal deadline slowly approaches. States have until the end of the month to decide if they want to receive federal funding to set up a statewide health insurance exchange, allow the federal government to deploy an exchange or work collaboratively on the project.

Newsworks reported a recently proposed bill that has the support of consumer advocates and medical professionals will prevent members of a proposed state health insurance exchange board from being associated with healthcare companies, brokers, trade groups or healthcare providers. Critics of the bill, such as small businesses and hospitals, argue that the ban would limit access to necessary expertise from the healthcare industry needed in the development of an efficient health insurance exchange. The state is tasked with setting up an eight-member board of directors appointed by the state legislature to oversee the establishment of the health insurance exchange.

Also ironing out the details of a state health insurance exchange, Kansas insurance officials are debating which health insurance benefits should be deemed essential and required to be covered by insurance providers. Gant Daily reported lawmakers and the state insurance commissioner are working to have the essential health benefits defined by the September 30 deadline set by the federal government. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, on the other hand, is not a proponent of the federal healthcare reform law calling for the health insurance exchanges, and wants to put off the decisions until after the upcoming presidential election.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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