Pennsylvania may soon assume responsibility for providing a health insurance exchange for its residents.
When the Affordable Care Act was adopted in 2010, states were given the option of establishing their own marketplaces for health insurance offered under the reform law or having their citizens use a federal exchange established for the same purpose. Pennsylvania chose to have its residents use the federal exchange, but now, a law changing that is making its way through the state legislature.
House Bill 3, with more than 80 sponsors from both parties, would direct the state to establish its own health insurance exchange and establish a Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Fund to pay for it.
After years of ceding this responsibility to the federal government, some state lawmakers now believe the state can run its own exchange more efficiently and save money by operating the exchange for less than it currently pays the federal government for use of the federal exchange. The bill’s sponsors also believe that taking over the exchange will enable the state to seek a federal reinsurance waiver that should reduce health insurance premiums five to ten percent in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 3 will be considered by the House Insurance Committee.
Learn more about what members of the House seek in the WITF radio article “Plan for Pennsylvania to take over health insurance marketplace gaining ground”; read a co-sponsor memo to state House members asking them to co-sponsor the bill; and read House Bill 3 itself.