September 27, 2012

“State health insurance exchanges” sounds bizarre, but it’s a component of the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, that states must put in place by 2014. These exchanges are marketplaces for health insurance for those who aren’t satisfied with their current insurance or who don’t have any coverage. States will set rules for what insurance companies must do and offer, within a regulatory framework set by the federal government. Sounds boring, right? Well, one consumer advocacy organization, Consumer Catalyst, believe that it might sound boring but it’s crucial that the public pay attention to the rules the states will set up for these exchanges. This week’s Healthstyles program looks at these exchanges. Host Diana Mason, RN, PhD, talks with Consumer Catalyst Senior Policy Analyst Christine Barber about these exchanges, why they are important, and what the public should be watching and advocating as this work moves forward. Tune in to WBAI, 99.5 FM (www.wbai.org) tonight from 11:00 to 11:25.

Healthstyles is brought to you by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.