Utah has come to an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services on how it will run its exchange – or health insurance marketplace. HHS has approved Utah’s first-of-its-kind proposal to split state and federal responsibilities. Under the agreement, Utah will continue running the state exchange known as Avenue H for small businesses. The federal government will run a separate exchange for individual consumers.
Representative James Dunnigan (R-Taylorsville) says he is in favor of a partnership exchange, where Utah continues to run Avenue H for small businesses, but the federal government provides an insurance marketplace for individuals.
The federal government has conditionally approved Utah’s health insurance exchange known as Avenue H. But the feds say more work needs to be done for the state-based exchange to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius praised Utah for making "significant progress" with its online insurance marketplace. She says she’s confident Avenue H will be federally compliant by the deadline of October this year. In a conference call, federal health administrator Gary Cohen essentially put the ball in Utah’s court.
The state’s Health System Reform Task Force had its final meeting Monday before the legislative session, but questions remain about health reform - in particular, who will run Utah’s health insurance exchange.
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday morning asking the federal government to let Utah keep Avenue H, the state’s health insurance exchange, without making changes to it.
Utah’s Health Exchange has a new name, along with a new website. State leaders say they want to distance themselves from the Affordable Care Act. Starting Thursday, the program which connects small businesses with health insurance carriers will be called Avenue H.