State-based Exchange Directors Share their Marketplace Successes with Congress

NASHP staff and directors of 10 state-based exchanges convened in Washington, DC in March 2019.

On March 5 and 6, 2019, state-based exchange directors convened in Washington, DC for peer-to-peer discussions and meetings with Congressional staff and federal officials, hosted by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP). The meeting has become an important annual event for the state-based exchanges – which provide the infrastructure, websites, and customer support for individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance.

The exchange directors and their staff had much to share. They highlighted the importance of state flexibility in designing programs that work for their local markets, noting that their enrollment numbers in 2019 outperformed those of states that use the federal exchange, despite considerable challenges to the stability of the insurance markets.

The exchange directors also shared data about program successes and continued to voice their unanimous support for state flexibility to maintain auto-enrollment and “silver loading” and other strategies to address affordability.

On March 6, 2019, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health invited two exchange leaders to testify during a hearing on “Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Lower Consumer Costs and Increase Access.” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, and Audrey Gasteier, chief of policy and strategy for the Massachusetts Health Connector, provided expert and thoughtful testimony, responding to lively questioning from subcommittee members. Read Lee’s and Gasteier’s testimonies.

State-based exchange directors have built a strong community of leaders who are working together to achieve their shared goal of providing access to affordable, quality health coverage. Each state has different approaches and priorities, but by working together they make sure their successes and lessons learned are shared and progress is advanced. Explore the State-based exchange Resource List. NASHP is proud to support their efforts.