The builders of the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange program are holding detailed discussions about how the exchange managers ought to determine exactly what plans the exchange will sell.
D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority staffers, advisory panel members and commenters talk about some of the considerations in documents posted on the authority website.
In a batch of plan offering working group recommendations, for example, a working group notes that it is looking at questions about matters such as the number of plans that each participating issuer should be able to issue at each level of coverage, and whether the exchange should require that each plan that an issuer offers have “meaningful differences” from other plans sold through the exchange.
The working group also has been talking about whether issuers should be able to offer benefits other those included in the required essential health benefits (EHB) package.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires the federal government and states to set up exchanges, or health insurance supermarkets, for individuals and small groups by Oct. 1, and for non-grandfathered individual and small plans to cover a standard EHB package.
In some cases, the working group says, the health insurance brokers and insurer representatives on the panel could not agree with the consumer and employer representatives on what position to take.
When the panel considered whether an exchange issuer ought to show that the plans it was offering through the exchange had meaningful differences, a majority of the broker and insurer reps opposed the requirement, while a majority of the employer and consumer reps supported the requirement, the working group says.