Testimony: Federally Facilitated Health Insurance Exchange

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Stacey Pogue /(512) 320-0222 x 117

June 18, 2012

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently posted guidance for states on Federally Facilitated Exchanges and Partnership Exchanges. Health insurance exchanges are new, competitive health insurance markets that will open in all states by 2014. The Affordable Care Act allows states to set up their own exchanges, but provides the fall-back of a federal exchange in states that choose not to act. Because Texas has chosen to delay planning for an exchange, it is likely that Texas will have a Federally Facilitated Exchange in at least 2014, and possibly longer. The creation of an effective and user-friendly exchange in Texas will be fundamental to expanding coverage in the state, where one of four people is uninsured. The center submitted the following comments on how the federal guidance can be strengthened so that FFEs better serve consumers’ needs.