The state exchanges will be required to certify qualified health plans, operate a toll-free hotline and Web site, rate qualified health plans, present plan options in a standard format, inform individuals of the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, provide an electronic calculator to calculate plan costs, and grant certifications of exemption from the individual requirement to have health insurance. Exchanges will be required to be self-sustaining by 2015 and will be allowed to charge assessments or user fees to participating health insurance issuers or otherwise generate funding to support their operations. The exchanges also will award grants to “navigators” who will educate the public about qualified health plans, distribute information on enrollment and subsidies, facilitate enrollment, and provide referrals on grievances. Navigators may include trade and professional organizations, farming and commercial fishing organizations, community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups, chambers of commerce, unions, or licensed insurance agents or brokers.
Source: The Common Wealth Fund