Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday morning asking the federal government to let Utah keep Avenue H, the state’s health insurance exchange, without making changes to it.
States have until the end of this week to inform the federal government whether they plan to run their own private health insurance marketplace or let the feds do it. But even states who decide to run their own exchanges will have to comply with federal requirements under the Affordable Care Act. In order to fulfill the requirements of the law, Utah would need to add to its existing exchange an access point for premium tax credits, an individual shopping tool, and a more robust consumer assistance program.
In his letter, Governor Herbert told President Obama he does not want to change Utah’s Avenue H. He wants the Department of Health and Human Services to certify it as is. Beyond that, he wants HHS to declare the Utah exchange model as the minimum federal standard for state based exchanges. Herbert requested a response before Friday this week – when states are required to declare their intentions on health exchanges.