KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

HHS Publishes Guidance For Health Exchange State Partnership Model

Meanwhile, Arizona's efforts to create an exchange are morphing into a political hot potato. Also in the news, WellPoint has purchased its own private exchange to compete with the state-run versions envisioned in the health law.

Modern Healthcare: HHS Issues Further Guidance On Exchanges
HHS on Monday published additional guidance on the state partnership model for health insurance exchanges that the agency outlined in a proposed rule earlier this summer. The model is intended to give the states another option as they establish exchanges that are well-suited to their local market conditions and also help them transition into operating those health care insurance marketplaces (Zigmond, 9/19).

The Associated Press/Arizona Republic: Arizona Health Exchanges Urged By Groups
A state issue stemming from the federal health care overhaul continues to simmer, presenting lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer with a political hot potato. ... In the wake of industry efforts to create an Arizona exchange in a fashion to their liking, social service advocates are offering their own wish-list of features that they say would help consumers. Meanwhile, some conservatives are urging the state to refrain from creating an exchange, a step they argue could be seen as endorsing the overhaul (9/19).

Bloomberg: WellPoint Buys Exchange To Compete With Obama's Government Health Markets
WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the largest insurer by enrollment, is buying a private health-insurance exchange to compete for employers with the U.S. state-run marketplaces set to open in 2014 under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. WellPoint and two nonprofit health insurers purchased a 78 percent stake today in Bloom Health, a closely held benefits company in Minneapolis, for an undisclosed sum, WellPoint said. Bloom is a two-year-old online marketplace that offers a menu of health plans to about 20,000 workers at almost 50 companies (Wechsler, 9/20).

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