Health Insurance Exchange consultant’s report released to public
ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services today released the final report by Public Consulting Group (PCG) on Health Insurance Exchange Planning. The report can be found on the DHSS website at: http://hss.state.ak.us/pdf/AKHealthExchangeReport2012.pdf
Under the federal health care law, states are required to determine if they will develop and implement state-based exchanges or participate in a federally facilitated exchange developed and run by the federal government. This report provides the state of Alaska with information on exchange development options.
During the first half of this year, PCG was contracted to evaluate the options available to the state and to complete a report outlining the differing exchange design options, the required communications plan, a discussion on financial stability, and a financial analysis of the costs of the Exchange. In the process an actuarial analysis of the Alaska market was also completed.
The issues left to be evaluated are considerable. These issues include:
the type of exchange as well as the governance and administration of the Exchange whether the state or federal government does it;
how the state’s Medicaid eligibility determination process will be complemented by exchange functions; and
the long-term financial sustainability of the Exchange, among many other issues.
The federal law requires exchanges to be self-sufficient by 2015. This presents a challenge for Alaska due to the estimated annual cost of exchange operations and the small target population.
“Through our analytical review and deliberative process, we will continue to pursue the best solution for Alaska,” said Josh Applebee, Deputy Director for Health Care Policy. “The report will be an integral part of the policy analysis in the coming days and weeks ahead.”