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Virginia Approves Plans for Health Care Exchanges

 

Virginia is set to approve 15 plans to compete in a new health insurance benefit exchange that will be operated by the federal government starting Jan. 1, 2014.

As of last week, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) Bureau of Insurance (BOI) had approved all six plans proposed for small businesses and five of nine proposed plans for individual coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The remaining plans were still under review.

Insurers have amended some of the plans since filing them in late spring, but the BOI has not made any changes to the plans since a presentation of rate scenarios July 16. However, the final rates that eligible Virginia citizens will pay for insurance will not be known until the federal government decides which plans will compete on the exchange and what they can charge.

Regulators and insurers say that the rates in the recommended plans are not easy to compare with current premiums because of changes in the way insurers price risk.

The rates do not reflect federal premium tax credits and subsidies expected to affect an estimated 775,000 Virginians.

Most Virginia localities will have three or four plans available, but some localities in Southwest Virginia will have only one plan.

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