RD490 - The Virginia Health Benefit Exchange Pursuant to Section 38.2-6516 of the Code of Virginia: 2020 Reporting Period

Executive Summary:

On April 9, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation creating the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) within the State Corporation Commission (Commission). The new law took effect on July 1, 2020, and is designed to facilitate the purchase and sale of qualified health plans and qualified dental plans to support the continuity of coverage and reduce the number of uninsured Virginians.

The shift to a State-Based Exchange has begun in earnest. Virginia is now making the transition from its previous status as a Federally Facilitated Exchange to a State-Based Exchange on the Federal Platform (SBE-FP) for Plan Year 2021, before ultimately transitioning to a full State-Based Exchange by Plan Year 2023. Prior to Plan Year 2023, Virginia consumers will continue to use www.HealthCare.gov to shop and enroll in Affordable Care Act health plans and access available financial assistance. Small business health insurance will also be available at https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/.

Each year, by November 1, the Exchange, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, must submit a report to the Chairs of the Senate Committees on Commerce and Labor and Finance and Appropriations and the House Committees on Labor and Commerce and Appropriations updating them on the following items:

1. Exchange operations and responsibilities;
2. An accounting of the Exchange's finances;
3. The effectiveness of the outreach and implementation activities of the Exchange in reducing the number of individuals without health insurance coverage; and
4. Other relevant information.

In fulfillment of this mandate, the Exchange presents this report for 2020. This year’s version is limited in scope given the abbreviated reporting period. However, the central message is this: in just several months, the Exchange has completed all activities required to become operationally ready as an SBE-FP in compliance with federal and state requirements. Open enrollment for Plan Year 2021 will begin according to schedule on November 1, 2020.