In today's Los Angeles Times I was greeted by an article in the Business section that talked about whether or not Covered California, California's health insurance Exchange or Marketplace as it's now supposed to be called, will be fully functional in time for the October 1 start date.
According to Executive Peter Lee, maybe, maybe not, they'll know more next month. Well, that's good since the month after that is the kickoff. If it's not fully functional, will that be the end of the world? Not necessarily.
People keep talking about health care reform going 'into effect' October 1. That's just when the exchanges/marketplaces are supposed to be functional. The effective date of the insurance policies being sold through the exchange, or outside of the exchange, that will be guaranteed issue don't go into effect until January 1, 2014. And the main reason to buy inside the Exchange/Marketplace would be if you were eligible for a subsidy.
Blue Shield of California held a broker meeting this week to roll out their new small group and individual portfolio of plans. We're still waiting to hear from the other carriers, but for the most part the plans are going to look pretty similar. It's a matter of rates and networks, procedures for getting people enrolled, and so on.
So, it's another wait and see. All of us who have spent the time obtaining the Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist (CHRS) designation, we're still waiting to see how we'll be spending this fall. Stay tuned!