The District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority announced today that four insurers have agreed to sell health insurance through its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange system.
The four insurers — Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente, and a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) — have applied to sell a total of 34 policies through the district’s individual exchange and 259 plans through its Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) small-group exchange, exchange officials said.
The insurers are supposed to file their exchange plan rates with the exchange by May 31.
PPACA requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and state regulators to set up exchanges, or health insurance supermarkets, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by Oct. 1.
States can decide whether to let HHS provide exchange services or set up their own exchanges.
The District of Columbia decided to set up its own exchange program, even though, with about 632,000 residents, it’s one of the lowest-population jurisdictions eligible to set up an exchange program.
Vermont, which has 626,000 residents, is the only eligible jurisdiction that is setting up its own exchange system. Vermont recently said two carriers will be selling “qualified health plans” (QHPs) through its exchange system.