Virginia Health Benefit Exchange; created, report. (HB1018)

Introduced By

Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria)


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 July 1, 2023, unless the SCC postpones this date. The measure 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 requires the Department of Taxation to include on the appropriate individual tax return forms a checkoff box or similar mechanism for indicating whether the individual, or spouse in the case of a married taxpayer filing jointly, (i) is an uninsured individual at the time the return is filed and (ii) consents to the Department of Taxation providing the individual's tax information to the Department of Medical Assistance Services for purposes of determining the uninsured individual's or spouse's eligibility for medical assistance. Finally, the measure requires the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a work group that includes representatives from the SCC, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Taxation to develop systems, policies, and practices to leverage state income tax returns to facilitate the enrollment of eligible individuals in insurance affordability programs through the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange established in this measure. The Secretary shall report the work group's recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by September 15, 2020. Read the Bill »


01/16/2020: Awaiting a Vote in the Labor and Commerce Committee


01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102995D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
01/10/2020Stricken from House calendar
01/14/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB1018)
01/16/2020Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #2