It isn't just the US federal government that's struggled to set up a health insurance marketplace. A number of states that have attempted to set up their own have run into problems too, and now one of the more successful states thinks that it can come to their rescue. "We were approached by several states who called us and said, 'Would you have any interest in franchising your exchange to us as a state?'" Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance marketplace, tells WNPR. "And so, as we thought about that, we began coming up with this concept of an 'exchange in a box.'"
"We have something that's working, and we want to share it."
Since the launch of Connecticut's exchange has gone smoothly and successfully — not something that many others can make a claim to — the state thinks that it can sell others on letting its own marketplace, Access Health CT, come in and fix them up for a price. “We have something that’s working, and we want to share it,” Connecticut Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman tells The New York Times. Of course, the recurring argument against a standardized marketplace has been that a one-size-fits-all approach won't work, but Connecticut's plan would actually be to customize the marketplace to each state's needs.
In general, Connecticut's plan is to manage the technology and some of the operations of another state's exchange itself, and to let that state set whatever policies it feels will best meet its needs. According to the Times, Connecticut isn't just hoping to overhaul struggling marketplaces either, but to help states that don't want to rely on the federal government's exchange to launch their own as well.
Connecticut has reportedly entered negotiations with several other states to provide its services already, and the Obama administration is apparently encouraging the effort too. The Times reports that federal government wants to see more states launch exchanges in the next couple of years, and having a known and accomplished IT provider to back them up would certainly make that much easier.