Finally, on June 28th, we’ve received a much anticipated Go/No-Go decision from the Supreme Court. Why would a healthcare IT individual or a project manager care? The ruling was necessary before kicking off and fully committing to several large projects across the nation for state and federal based Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX). Many IT projects may soon start or in some cases, continue, to build systems to support the mandate. Work within the Federal Government’s Health and Human Services Department has already begun. Many state agencies may now make funds available and begin planning efforts in order to create Health Insurance Exchanges, one of the components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if they choose to build their own.

What is a Health Insurance Exchange?

Think about Elephant.com, a company in the business of selling car insurance that operates specifically to broker the possible insurance options available and allows you to purchase those. Kayak.com is another good example of having one place to shop for travel accommodations. In fact you will be able to research healthcare options at Healthcare.gov.

A Health Insurance Exchange does the same thing. Individuals and Businesses will be able to use an exchange to find products that fit their needs. With the ACA, state and federal projects will be required to allow insurance companies to provide a set of products, and for others to log on, purchase those products. If a state chooses not to build out an HIX for their own residents, they can choose to opt into the Federal HIX.

Regardless of your political preferences, Health Care IT folks now have one of the major Go-No-Go decisions. Based on the current political landscape, the November elections may prove to be yet another Go-No-Go decision.