New report outlines state and local market for health exchanges

According to a new report by government market research firm INPUT, provisions of the federal healthcare reform law will send upwards of $600 million to state and local governments for insurance exchanges over the next four years.

Federal provisions mandate that states have legislation for health insurance exchanges by 2011 and implement operational exchanges by 2014. Keeping a close eye on how states choose to develop their exchanges will be a key challenge for vendors looking to move into the space, says INPUT analyst Amanda White.

“Health insurance exchanges are at the center of health care reform,” Ms. White, an analyst with the Social Services and Health Care group, said in a statement. “With so many changes occurring to policies, vendors must pay close attention to state legislation. Access and affordability are at the forefront.”

The report, “State Health Insurance Exchange Market, 2010 – 2015” acknowledges that while exchanges do not represent high-dollar-value opportunities, they represent the first major new initiative in state-based health care services since the SCHIP was launched in 1997. Moreover, the report says, vendors who are competitive in this area could be in a good position to help states with major health care cost-containment efforts for programs such as Medicaid.

Opportunities beyond IT implementation include actuarial consulting, policy consulting, business processing and call centers, the report says.