Virginia Health Benefit Exchange; created. (SB1363)

Introduced By

Sen. Kenneth Alexander (D-Norfolk) with support from co-patron Sen. John Watkins (R-Midlothian)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Health Benefit Exchange. Creates the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange, which will be established and operated by a new division within the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The Exchange shall facilitate the purchase and sale of qualified health plans and qualified dental plans to qualified individuals and qualified employers. The Exchange shall make qualified plans available to qualified individuals and qualified employers by January 1, 2016, unless the SCC postpones this date. The bill authorizes the SCC to review and approve accident and sickness insurance premium rates applicable to health benefit plans in the individual and small group markets and health benefit plans providing health insurance coverage in the individual market through certain non-employer group plans. The Exchange will be funded by assessments on health insurers offering plans in the Exchange. A health plan will not be required to cover any state-mandated health benefit if federal law does not require it to be covered as part of the essential benefits package. The essential health benefits are items and services included in the benchmark health insurance plan, which is the largest plan in the largest product in the Commonwealth's small group market as supplemented in order to provide coverage for the items and services within the statutory essential health benefits categories. The SCC may contract with other eligible entities and enter into memoranda of understanding with other agencies of the Commonwealth to carry out any of the functions of the Exchange, including agreements with other states or federal agencies to perform joint administrative functions. Such contracts are not subject to the Virginia Public Procurement Act ( 2.2-4300 et seq.). The measure repeals a provision enacted in 2013 that prohibits an agent, employee, officer, or agency of the Commonwealth from taking any action to establish a health benefit exchange. The measure will become effective 60 days after the date the U.S. Supreme Court finds that federal premium assistance tax credits or other cost-sharing mechanisms provided pursuant to the Act to subsidize the purchase of health insurance through health benefit exchanges are available only if the health insurance is purchased through a state health benefit exchange, and are not available if the health insurance is purchased through a federal health benefit exchange. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/20/2015Presented and ordered printed 15103576D
01/20/2015Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/02/2015Committee substitute printed to Web only 15104644D-S1
02/02/2015Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor (7-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)