Sixteen states are doing their own insurance exchanges, while the federal government is running exchanges in 34 states.
Many states have been aggressively advertising and promoting their exchanges. But there is still a lot we don’t know. Several questions we’re still asking:
How many insurers will participate?
So far, the number of insurance companies offering plans through the exchanges varies widely from state to state. And in some, it’s nearly chaotic. Consider Mississippi. Heritage expert Alyene Senger details that state’s woes: Initially, only two insurers applied to offer coverage in the exchange—and they weren’t even going to provide coverage for the entire state. Humana later said it would provide coverage to the uncovered counties. But it remains that the vast majority of Mississippians in the exchange will only be able to do business with one insurer.
Which doctors and hospitals will be covered?
Exchange customers may not have access to the same doctors and hospitals that other patients have. Senger writes that “limited networks have resulted in major hospitals being excluded in California’s exchange.”
How much will coverage cost?
Most people probably don’t know yet how much their exchange insurance plans will cost. Senger warns that premiums aren’t the only cost—people could also see co-pays and deductibles go up.