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Insurers Doubt Feds HIX Readiness

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, February 27, 2013

Health plans are prepared to partner with health insurance exchanges (HIX), but are not optimistic the state and federal government will have the new exchanges ready by the October deadline.

Edifecs, a Bellevue, WA-based healthcare information technology firm, surveyed 100+ healthcare executives from commercial insurance plans, providers, government agencies, and other healthcare-related organizations at its three-day Healthcare Mandate Summit in Austin, TX, this month. The results show that 80% of respondents plan to participate in exchanges in 2014; only 5% said they would opt out of participating entirely.

An accompanying report (PDF) to the survey indicates health plans are not only planning to participate, but they are putting resources into getting ready for the exchanges. Seventy-eight percent of respondents report having an HIX project team on board to work with the different exchange models.

As of now, most states are shunning federally run exchanges. Only seven have decided to pursue a partnership with the feds, while 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, will operate a state-based exchange.

Representatives from Colorado and Washington held a presentation on the status of their exchanges, both of which will be a state-run model. Jamie Gier, vice president of corporate marketing at Edifecs, says participants at the summit wanted to find out how to get information from states about how their exchanges will be run.

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