The New York Times has an article about the federal government setting up an Exchange under the new Affordable Care Act. But many states, include California, are going ahead with their own.
For California, it makes sense, given our specific health care market, and our needs in terms of demographics, geography, and history. Our California Exchange has gotten good profiles recently in numerous publications, the Sacramento Bee by Kevin Yamamura and the San Jose Mercury News by Sandy Kleffman, and the Christian Science Monitor by Daniel Wood.
As we note in these articles, the Exchange provides the promise of health reform for those most disadvantaged by our current health system–not just the uninsured, but those insured individuals, families, and small businesses who are left all alone in the current complex and confusing market. The Exchange will provide financial help to afford coverage, but also will be a purchasing pool where these potentially millions of Californians can get the bulk purchasing power now only reserved for large employers and public programs.
Monday is a California Health Benefits Exchange is a deadline for submitting comments on how it uses that group purchasing power–to determine what the rules should be for insurers to offer Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in the Exchange.
We’ll post a summary of our comments shortly. Usefully, the Exchang website also posts the comments from Health Access and other stakeholders as well, under “Meeting Materials” for each board meeting.