Americans should get a clearer picture today on how health insurance exchanges are supposed to work. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will unveil a framework of the exchanges later today.
The concept of the exchanges, a linchpin of the Affordable Care Act, is to create easy access to an open marketplace of insurance plans and to allow uninsured people and small businesses to band together to negotiate for cheaper rates. States are being allowed to create their own exchange or band together to share infrastructure. States can also opt to bow out of participation, in which case HHS would come in and run the exchange. Before today, HHS has given few hints about how a federally created exchange might look.