In 2019, the Washington legislature enacted a bill requiring insurers on the state’s health insurance exchange to offer plans with standardized benefit designs, beginning in 2021. Colorado and Maryland are considering similar requirements. As these and other states consider the option of standardized health plans, they can benefit from the experiences of California, the District of Columbia (D.C.), Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, all of which require insurers to offer standardized benefit designs. This Expert Perspective outlines benefits and risks of plan standardization, and raises critical questions that states will need to consider, and offers a decision roadmap for states implementing a standardized benefit design requirement.
Assessing a New Option: The Feasibility of Contracting With a Single Firm to Build and Operate a State’s Marketplace
Jon Kingsdale, Wakely Consulting Group
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the design of state health insurance exchanges has evolved to include several distinct models. This evolution has led to the possibility that a state’s exchange development and operations could be delegated to a private vendor. States operating their own state-based marketplaces (SBMs) may begin to consider other options as they confront budget challenges and look to streamline operations. This issue brief, developed by Wakely Consulting Group, assesses the feasibility of a state delegating the development and operation of its SBM to the fullest extent possible to a private exchange operator and offers potential advantages for states that may be considering such an approach.