Washington: Bill Authorizing Creation of State Health Benefits Exchange

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Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire has signed a bill (E2SB 2319) authorizing the creation of a state based health insurance exchange. Key provisions include:

  • New market rules for plans that are sold both inside and outside the exchange;
  • Aprocess to certify qualified health plans authorized to sell coverage in the exchange;
  • A system to rate qualified health plans;
  • A process for identifying the “essential health benefits” that plans must offer both inside and outside of the exchange; and
  • A mandate that the state adopt the federal “Basic Health Option,” barring certain findings of the governor.