No state has moved faster than Rhode Island to grab the federal money available under President Obama’s 2010 heath-care law. Washington has awarded Rhode Island $64.8 million, the most in the country, to get the new insurance exchanges up and running by 2014.
Apparently the state has been less energetic in taking action to get local health insurers to comply with the law’s new regulations. A Commonwealth Fund study out Thursday lists Rhode Island as one of 11 states where “regulators were actively reviewing insurer filings for compliance with the reforms even though the state had not otherwise passed a new law or issued new regulations or other guidance.”
Every state except Arizona has taken some action to push insurers to implement 10 of the law’s major changes, such as the ban on lifetime benefit limits and the extension of dependent coverage for Americans up to age 26. The Commonwealth Fund put Rhode Island in the lowest of four levels of action states have taken.
But that isn’t necessarily a problem. “States have adopted a range of pragmatic approaches to help ensure that their residents receive the full benefits of the consumer protections promised under the Affordable Care Act,” Katie Keith of Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms said in a news release.
• Related: How Rhode Island could become an island of ‘Obamacare’ in Romney’s US (Jan. 19)
(map: Commonwealth Fund, via Wonkblog)