I came across some interesting commentary from Grace Marie Turner on the Forbes blog this morning in which she highlights a recent program launched by the State of Utah that lets employees to shop for health plans that best suits their families' needs and purchase these policies at affordable rates.
The Utah Health Insurance Exchange provides a space where employees combine contributions from their employers with pre-tax dollars to purchase policies that also substantially cuts down the cost of health care coverage for employers since there is no administrative burden for them. In just a few short weeks the Exchange has encountered huge success in driving prices down. There are a total of 72 plans offered by 5 different private insurance companies. It is also expected that prices will go down even further when more plans are added to the Exchange.
One of the reasons why this plan has worked so well is because Utah lawmakers were able to create and shape a market-based program that was tailored to the unique needs of Utah residents. Is is time for Washington to scrap out a federal based reform and instead enforce state lawmakers to create similar innovative programs like the one Utah created?