Tags: ohio | state | governor | health

Ohio Lt. Gov. Rejects State Health Insurance Exchange As Too Costly

Monday, 02 Jul 2012 12:30 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says she sees no advantage to establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, a key element of Obamacare, because it will cost too much money.

The Republican, an outspoken critic of Obamacare, is also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, according to the Columbus Dispatch. She suggested the state would likely step aside while the federal government sets up the Ohio program, a move that could save the state up to $43 million a year.

Taylor told the Dispatch the state is still waiting on details of how a partnership arrangement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would work. But she said allowing the department to set up the exchange would likely cost Ohio about 1.6 million a year to operate it, compared to the $43 million if Ohio develops its own exchange program from start to finish.

The exchanges are considered a key part of the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court upheld as constitutionally sound in its historic 5-4 ruling last Thursday. The exchanges are designed to help bring healthcare costs down by providing uninsured individuals and small businesses with a kind of one-stop shopping among various insurance plans for the most affordable and suitable coverage.

Nov. 16 is the deadline under Obamacare for the states to submit their own plans or decide if they want to allow the federal government to establish one for them. Because of the court battle over Obamacare, and continuing Republican opposition to the law, some states have not even taken the initial steps toward formulating a plan or even determining whether it would be best to go it alone, partner with the government, or allow the government to create one for them.

The exchanges must be established by January 2014, when the healthcare law takes full effect.

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