Obama Administration Gives States More Time To Decide On Health Exchanges

On Friday afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline until Dec. 14 for states to submit plans to set up state-based health insurance exchanges under the health care law. Those states that want to partner with the federal government have until Feb. 15 to outline the duties the state government would handle in running the exchanges.

Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Extends Deadline For State Exchanges
The Obama administration on Friday gave states more time to submit plans to set up state-based health insurance exchanges, a concession to the reality that many states had delayed planning until they saw who won the presidential election" (Galewitz, 11/9).

Reuters: States Given More Time To Work On Health Exchanges
The Obama administration gave states extra time to work toward setting up new health insurance exchanges on Friday, days after President Barack Obama's re-election ensured the survival of his healthcare reform law. The move is seen as a concession to dozens of states that delayed compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until after the November 6 election. Opponents of the plan had hoped a victory for Republican Mitt Romney would ultimately result in the law's repeal (Morgan and Selyukh, 11/9).

Bloomberg: States Given Extra Month For Health Exchange Blueprints
President Barack Obama's administration gave U.S. states one more month to decide how they plan to develop new health exchanges that will let people shop for insurance coverage. While the states still must say by Nov. 16 if they plan to build their own marketplaces, they can now wait until Dec. 14 to submit the actual blueprint, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter sent yesterday to state governors. States that want to create a partnership with the federal government to manage the exchanges have until Feb. 15 to outline the duties they'll handle (Wayne, 11/10).

CQ HealthBeat: Health Care Law's Insurance Market Rules Might Provoke More Battles In The States
The next big hurdle for implementation of the health care law: States must adopt the overhaul’s major changes to how consumers purchase health insurance, which are due to take effect in 2014. They are very guts of the measure's promise of better access to health care. But tough new standards on guaranteed issue, age rating and more might also provoke a new round of fights in Republican-controlled states where officials have been so resistant to implementing the overhaul that they've refused to set up state health insurance exchanges. Insurers, health policy experts, state regulators and others are watching to see if proposed rules are issued as soon as Tuesday dealing with insurance market regulations, as well as standards for qualified health plans and minimum standards for essential health benefits (Norman, 11/12).

Medpage Today: Feds' Health Exchange Plans Still Hazy
States wanting to run their own health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recently got a last-minute deadline reprieve, but little information is known about how exchanges would work in states that choose to let the federal government run them, insiders said. Details on which plans will be included in the federal online marketplace and what will be covered at what rates -- all questions states may like to know answers to before they decide if they will run their own exchanges -- are still unknown. Under the ACA, exchanges would operate in every state to allow individuals to buy health insurance. Exchanges can be run by individual states, by the federal government, or by a combination of the two under an arrangement known as a "state partnership exchange." The exchanges are scheduled to begin operating on Jan. 1, 2014 (Pittman, 11/12).

NPR: Health Insurance Exchanges Explained
Last week's election may have settled the fate of the federal Affordable Care Act, but its implementation after months of uncertainty has caught many of the players unprepared. Late last week, the federal government extended the deadline for states to decide what they want to do about health exchanges. Those are the new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance (Rovner, 11/13).

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