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Recent Conferences

July 20, 2009

Establishing a National Health Insurance Exchange

Co-Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy

A central aspect of national health care reform is establishing a mechanism that will facilitate insurance coverage for individuals and small businesses; especially those who now lack access to affordable coverage. Both the administration and members of Congress have proposed establishing a Health Insurance Exchange that would create a structured market for eligible individuals to obtain coverage from among a range of products.

This Forum will examine key design parameters of a national health insurance exchange, and will discuss the implications of different options. Key issues could include the rules for participating in the exchange, the degree of purchasing authority given to it, the governance structure, the role of federal versus state entities in managing the exchange, and the possible configuration of a public plan option. The Forum will use a case study of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector to examine key policy considerations that may arise during implementation of an exchange. Panelists will then discuss policy options they believe would best support the goal of more accessible, affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans.