Utah Gov Says State and Government Will Run Separate Halves of Insurance reports Health Insure Direct
Governor wants to keep half the insurance game in state’s hands
Washington has been pushing hard to explain to states why they opt to run their own exchanges, wherein individuals and small businesses can shop for insurance policies and apply for tax credits to offset costs of premiums. The government has attempted to run them if the states refuse. So far, 32 states have often for the latter option. The exchanges are called for under the 2010 health care law that is so heavily contested and argued over in Washington D.C.
Unlike other states who are opposed to the insurance policies, Utah already has a health insurance exchange for its small businesses, which acts as insurance bazaar, but does not have the regulations that are included in the federal health overhaul. Those requirements include items like type and spread of coverage to the customers, regardless of their medical history.
The state has proposed utilizing the marketplace, which has been dubbed Avenue H, as the main exchange that will begin in 2014, to sell policies to individuals as part of the federal law. Legislators at the state level were unwilling to sign off on changes that could have made them comply with federal law.
Yet, Herbert is expending a different option for the federal government and his state.
“This state, Utah, has decided that’s not the right thing, and frankly I don’t want to be on the receiving end of phone calls, which I believe will happen, where individuals are going to say, ‘Hey, I’m getting a call from the IRS and they’re wanting my tax money to pay a penalty because I haven’t signed up for their insurance program,’” he said.
He then added that he expressed to Sebelius that he thought the Avenue H could still operate, since the state was planning on keeping it open and there would not be a need for the federal government to do so.
Mr. Herbert said he’d asked the secretary “if we cannot coexist peacefully here” and had been “gratified and encouraged” that she seemed to be willing to entertain the idea. He said she’d concluded their conversation by saying, “I’d like to find a way to get to yes.”
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