Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is an independent department of the US government set up in April 2011 by the Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010. The law requires that every state should offer health care plans at affordable rates. Individuals should therefore not buy plans the Exchange offers. The 2010 bill is changing health care by improving accessibility to health services.
Maryland Health Exchange program is significantly affordable as it consists of plans that carry useful consumer protections, such as dental and mental health uniformity (Advisory Committee Reports, 2012). Therefore, the Exchange enables all individuals, including the poor, to access health care. It will help improve the health of all Americans and legal residents.
Additionally, the Exchange will improve health care as it has put in place mechanisms that ensure insurance companies offer comprehensive health care services for children. The law obligates the companies to provide dental coverage and essential services to all children. The companies are creating health care plans that include either dental care insurance or stand-alone coverage (Advisory Committee Reports, 2012). Notably, this provision is promoting competition. Therefore, it will lead to the delivery of considerably affordable health care services.
The Affordable Care Act provides a caveat for adults obtaining health care plans that include dental benefits. The law states that cost-sharing subsidies only apply to essential health benefits. Despite this caveat, the health care industry will benefit due to the impact of natural market forces in a free market. Most insurance companies have included dental care as an extra benefit to attract people to choose them over their competition. The competition will help control the rate of premiums for all insurance products and ultimately improve the quality of health care (Davis, 2013).
Additionally, the act provides ways that health industry stakeholders can use to compare the benefits of competing insurance plans. Foremost, the law sets indispensable health benefits. All health insurance policies must offer the benefits or face legal action. Next, the policies must provide services that conform to at least one of the following tiers: Platinum, gold, bronze, or silver. The policy’s benefit tiers represent the amount of covered health care expenses the plan entails. This feature assists policyholders to assess the cost-sharing that the policy requires (Davis, 2013).
Further, the policy allows individuals that do not want to buy insurance to seek the approval of their states’ health insurance exchange. Individuals who do not have health insurance covers and are not interested in getting one always need an exception certificate to avoid a tax penalty. The government only issues the certificates through health assurance exchanges. The legal provision allowing individuals to get tax exemption certificates through the Exchange helps the states to maintain updated records on the health status of citizens and legal residents (Advisory Committee Reports, 2012).
The law guarantees both citizens of the US and legal residents to get improved health care services within their states (Hood, 2012). Given that the government has based health insurance amenities in states, there will be inter-state competition leading to the delivery of enhanced health care services. Each state will want to manage its own exchange proficiently (Hood, 2012). Despite the essential role that the act is playing in the health sector, the government should review it with the objective of finding mechanisms for funding insurance costs for those who are extremely poor.
Advisory Committee Reports. (2012). 2012 Advisory Committee Reports. Web.
Davis, E. (2013). What is a Health Insurance Exchange?. About.com Health Insurance. Web.
Hood, L. J. (2012). Leddy & pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (7TH ed.). St. Louis: Wolters Kluwer Health.
Mandal, B. (2013). Provisions of the Affordable Care Act and Washington’s Health Insurance Exchange. Pullman, Wash.: Washington State University Extension.