Principles for a Nebraska Health Insurance Exchange: Governance & Oversight

An outline of principles for effective governance and oversight of Nebraska’s new health insurance marketplace - the Nebraska Health Insurance Exchange. The exchange will serve as a one-stop-shop where individuals and businesses can shop for affordable, high-quality health care coverage or enroll in public benefits. Eight organizations released the paper.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) encourages states to establish new health insurance marketplaces, called “Exchanges,” that are meant to serve as a place where all Nebraskans,  including low- and middle-income Nebraskans and small businesses can access high-quality, affordable health coverage. Establishing an Exchange in Nebraska is one of the most crucial aspects of implementing the law on the state level, as the Exchange will be the means for Nebraskans to find health coverage that is appropriate for them.

The ACA requires that each state have a health insurance exchange up and running by January 1, 2014.  While the federal government will establish initial guidance on the creation of the exchange, states have a significant amount of flexibility to determine how the exchanges should be governed, what benefits will be included, and how consumers will interact with insurers and their products.
 
The way in which the Exchange is governed and structured will have a profound effect on how well the Exchange works for Nebraskans. The Exchange should ensure that all policy choices are considered from a consumer perspective and that decisions are made based in the consumer’s best interest. As a result, the planning process is critical in assuring that Nebraskans are well served by an Exchange. 

The following principles regarding exchange governance and oversight will best guarantee that the exchange functions as intended: as a competitive marketplace for highvalue coverage that is user-friendly, transparent, and stable.