On Tuesday, the National Academy of Social Insurance released a legislative toolkit to help states design health insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law, AHA News reports (AHA News, 2/1).
Under the reform law, states by January 2014 must create insurance exchanges that provide coverage options for individuals and small businesses.
Last year, HHS awarded $1 million each to 48 states and the District of Columbia to begin designing online health insurance exchanges and to study the readiness of IT systems and infrastructure.
Officials said the funds could help states develop easy-to-use Web platforms and set up new IT systems to determine whether applicants qualify for subsidies or programs such as Medicaid (iHealthBeat, 1/21).
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the development of the toolkit. The resource provides guidance on various issues related to the creation of insurance exchanges, such as:
- Certification of health plans;
- Coordination with Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program;
- Determination of eligibility and enrollment;
- Establishment of specific exchanges for small employers; and
- Governance of exchanges (Goedert, Health Data Management, 2/1).
The authors of the toolkit said that states could use the resource "in drafting legislation, developing regulations or guidelines by operational exchanges, and in guiding the policy development activities of related agencies" (AHA News, 2/1).