Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange A Central Marketplace for Health Insurance What is a health insurance exchange? A health insurance exchange is a central marketplace for health insurance that provides one-stop shopping for individuals and small businesses to compare rates, benefits and quality among plans. The exchange will also administer the new federal health insurance tax credits for those who qualify and make it easier to enroll in health insurance. By 2014, an exchange will be available in each state to help consumers make comparisons between plans that meet quality and affordability standards. What are the benefits of a central marketplace for health insurance? • Access to tax credits and subsidies. • Ability to compare insurance products quickly and easily. • Benefit standards and cost-sharing limits ensure minimum standards for insurance purchased through exchange. • Information is accessible in a variety of formats, which may include by phone, website or with an agent’s help. Who will use the central marketplace health insurance exchange? • By 2014, individuals and small employer groups can use the exchange marketplace to purchase health insurance. • Purchasing from the central marketplace exchange is a choice. Individuals and small groups can continue to buy outside of the exchange, privately, if they choose. • When purchasing within the marketplace, individuals and small businesses will have access to tax credits with cost-sharing expenses (deductibles and co-payments). • Starting in 2014, federal premium tax credits and subsidies will be available for people with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four). • Also in 2014, federal assistance will reduce out-of-pocket expenses for many people. What are the next steps for the health insurance exchange? Recommendations for the exchange are included in Oregon’s Action Plan for Health, which was legislatively mandated in 2009. The Action Plan includes recommendations including setting up a public corporation to run the exchange, to ensure flexibility and adaptability. Recommendations also include a nine-member board to oversee the public corporation. The plan will be up for discussion during the 2011 legislative session. Also included in the Action Plan are plans for reducing unnecessary administrative costs in health care; increasing access to health care for all Oregonians; improving efforts to prevent disease; reducing rural health and medical workforce shortages; and developing the infrastructure for electronic health records. The Oregon Health Authority is the organization at the forefront of lowering and containing costs, improving quality, and increasing access to health care in order to improve the lifelong health in Oregon. The nine-member citizen Oregon Health Policy Board working towards comprehensive health and health care reform in our state and oversees the Oregon Health Authority. Stay current! Connect with us at www.Facebook.com/OregonHealthAuthority.