Will your state run a health care exchange?

Released: 
July 18, 2013

Every state has to have a health care insurance exchange going by January 2014 but can opt to let the feds step in and run it.

Today President Obama will brief reporters on the successes of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). Though Republican opponents of the health care package have tried to postpone or repeal the bill at least 40 times, the White House is moving forward with setting up healthcare exchanges. These state-by-state marketplaces have become the key element in proving the viability of the entire program - and some states are leaving that part to the federal government.

The Affordable Care Act says every state must offer a health care insurance exchange by January 2014. Its intended as a marketplace where the uninsured can compare and buy insurance coverage from private companies. Plans must meet minimum standards and cover a range of services, including prescription drugs and mental health treatment.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates up to 25 million people will eventually use them. But states dont have to run their own exchange; they can step aside and let the federal government do it.

Are you ready to shop for health insurance this way if you have to? Check out our infographic for more on health care exchanges. See What Do Others Say for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. Do you think the system will be ready on schedule as promised?