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Payers across America are embarking on a new mission — seizing the opportunities presented by healthcare reform. In few places is this effort more evident than with the requirements for rollout of health insurance exchanges (HIX) state by state. The impact will be felt not only by states, but by commercial health insurance payers that will need to collaborate with each state in order to effectively roll out HIXs nationwide.
Health plans, in conjunction with states, have the responsibility to develop and implement insurance exchanges for the population. By creating a new, streamlined marketplace where individuals, families and small business owners can easily shop for and purchase health insurance, HIXs are supposed to help curb the rising tide of the uninsured while promoting competition and blunting rising costs. While the mission is clear for both states and payers, the challenges are many — including legal, political, and market uncertainty.