In the past, we’ve said that the large number of states using the Healthcare.gov federally-facilitated exchange site was a good thing since HHS allowed brokers to sell subsidized plans and did not dictate the commissions carriers would pay; states with their own exchange website, on the other hand, can set their own rules.
That position changed somewhat, though, with the recent court ruling that the subsidies can only be delivered through state exchanges, not the federal exchange. Though another ruling the same day said that the IRS was administering the tax credits correctly and two other similar cases are still pending, most agree that this case will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. That seems even more certain after a recent request by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to appeal their case directly to the Supreme Court.
In the wake of the Appeals Court ruling, more states are now considering developing their own exchange sites, which would permit them to continue to hand out subsidies even if the high court agrees that the subsidies aren’t available through the federally-facilitated marketplace. According to the Congressional Quarterly, as reported by the NAHU Newswire, the states that “have reached various levels of consideration of founding their own marketplaces” include Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.” As previously reported, Oregon and Nevada have announced that they will begin using Healthcare.gov as their exchange site. It’s like musical chairs.
The good news is, regardless of what the state decides to do, HPA can help. By setting up your own private exchange website, you can help consumers nationwide to access subsidized as well as non-subsidized health plans plus ancillary benefits not available through the government-run marketplaces.