Virginia Health Benefit Exchange Authority; created. (HB357)

Introduced By

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Health Benefits Exchange.  Creates the Virginia Health Benefits Exchange Authority as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Authority is charged with establishing and operating health benefit exchanges for qualified individuals and small businesses, collectively referred to as the Exchange. The measure also provides for the Authority to perform, or provide for the performance by other state agencies of, duties associated with the operation of the Exchange as required by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and implements the intent set forth in Chapter 823 of the 2011 Acts of Assembly that Virginia create and operate its own health benefits exchange to preserve and enhance competition in the health insurance market. The Authority is authorized to enter agreements with the State Corporation Commission and Departments of Medical Assistance Services, Health, and Social Services regarding the performance of duties related to the conduct of the Exchange. The Exchange will be funded by assessments on health insurers offering plans in the Exchange. Persons who file information that is known to be false or misleading, or willfully and knowingly violate any provision of the act, are subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000. The measure provides that the same market rules will apply to health plans sold inside and outside the Exchange, and that mandated health benefits applicable to plans offered outside the Exchange will also apply to plans offered through the Exchange. Insurance companies are required to offer the same health plans, for the same price, inside and outside the Exchange. Insurers are prohibited from offering bronze level plans outside the Exchange unless they also offer such plans through the Exchange. The State Corporation Commission is required to ensure that insurance agents and brokers are not provided with financial incentives to direct persons either to the Exchange or outside the Exchange. The measure will expire on the effective date of a final, nonappealable order of a court of proper jurisdiction invalidating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or of federal legislation repealing the federal act. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12101057D
01/10/2012Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/19/2012Assigned C & L sub: #1
01/31/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB357)
01/31/2012Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/14/2012Left in Commerce and Labor (0-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Julie Blust writes:

The creation of a strong Virginia Health Benefits Exchange will control costs and exchange a broken system for a healthier Virginia.

• Virginia Organizing supports the recommendation of the Governor’s Virginia Health Reform Initiative's Advisory Council that voted overwhelmingly to recommend setting up the exchange as a "quasi-public" agency using the successful Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) as a model.

• Virginia Organizing believes the Exchange should be governed by a diverse board with a variety of expertise (at least two representatives of consumer organizations and a representative from small business) along with a broad advisory committee composed of stakeholders not on the board.

• Virginia Organizing opposes allowing insurers or other entities with a financial stake in the Exchange on the governance board.

• Virginia Organizing believes the insurance practice of cherry picking only healthy consumers known as “adverse selection” must be avoided in Virginia’s Exchange.