As states move forward with the implementation of healthcare benefits exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission is preparing to manage insurance plans sold on the market in 2014.
Virginia’s system will be operated by the federal government, but the state has control over the benefits packages being sold on its online exchange, which is set to open for enrollment in October.
Beginning in July, the commission will attend presentations by insurers to guarantee Virginia residents are offered affordable options, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
New laws have recently given the Bureau of Insurance, a division of the SCC, more authority over plan qualification and rate approval for the benefits exchange. The newspaper explained the bureau’s new responsibilities include ensuring policies features the essential health benefits outlined by federal legislation and that healthcare consumers in Virginia aren’t denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.
Meanwhile, last month, Washington announced the state would receive $2.5 million in grant money to bring in navigators – local health organizations that will hire employees to help educate and inform Virginians.
The federal government has dedicated $150 million to fund navigators in states throughout the country, according to Insurance & Financial Advisor.