Twelve State-based Exchanges Outline Strategies to Stabilize Individual Market
Full text of the letter is available here.

Today, Executive Directors from twelve health insurance marketplaces sent a letter to leadership of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee detailing consensus strategies to bring immediate stability to the individual market.

The state-based marketplaces (SBMs) and state-based marketplaces operating on the federal platform (SBM-FP) represent diverse state needs and political leadership dedicated to the mutual goal of providing choice, transparency, and value to states’ health insurance consumers.

“The state-based marketplaces, and state-based marketplaces on the federal platform, are on the ground every day, working to understand and meet the local needs of our insurance markets and consumers. We have direct experience with how state flexibility and innovation can result in functional, competitive markets,” said Louis Gutierrez, Executive Director, Massachusetts Health Connector Authority.

On average, SBM and SBM-FP states have attracted a healthier risk mix, attained lower rates of attrition, and maintained steadier issuer participation in their marketplaces than in states operating on the FFM (federally facilitated marketplace). Drawing from their own experiences, SBM and SBM-FP leadership recommend the following strategies to achieve individual market stability.

  • Assure consistent funding of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments
  • Establish a permanent, federal reinsurance program
  • Maintain flexibility over the use of 1332 waivers
  • Promote stability through a commitment to certainty and long-term solutions

“We believe a focus on these strategies will enable us to maximize competition and affordability of products offered through our marketplaces in 2018 and beyond,” said Pam MacEwan, Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

The Senate HELP Committee is currently scheduled to hold hearings the first week of September on stabilizing the individual market.

Full text of the letter is available here.

The National Academy for State Health Policy is home to the State Health Exchange Leadership Network, a consortium of state leaders and staff dedicated to operation of the SBMs and SBM-FPs.