Feds Encourage Mississippi To Pursue Health Exchange Partnership

Also, cost issues spark disagreement in Minnesota as the state Senate continues to weigh action related to these health insurance marketplaces.

The Associated Press: Mississippi Can Try For Fed-State Health Exchange
After blocking Mississippi's proposal for a state-run health insurance exchange because of divisions among state leaders on the plan, federal officials said Friday that they're encouraging the state to seek approval for a partnership — an exchange jointly run by the state and federal governments (Pettus, 2/9).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Feds Blame Mississippi Governor For Exchange Denial
One, Mississippi has become No, Mississippi. The Obama administration on Friday offered an explanation for why it rejected Mississippi's bid to establish a state-based online health insurance marketplace, called One, Mississippi. In a letter, the federal government's top exchange official said they had no choice because Gov. Phil Bryant would not allow the exchange to work with Medicaid and other agencies under his control (Galewitz, 2/8).

Pioneer Press: Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange Funding Sparks Disagreement Among DFL
If the state creates a health insurance exchange later this year, should smokers pay for it? The question is in play at the Capitol following a Senate Tax Committee hearing last week that amended legislation for the health exchange, a new marketplace for buying insurance that's set to start operating in October (Snowbeck, 2/10).

In other news related to the health law's implementation -

Los Angeles Times: Judges Split Over Birth Control Coverage And Religious Liberty
Judges across the country are increasingly split over whether private employers and their companies can cite their religious beliefs as a valid reason for denying birth control coverage to their employees (Savage, 2/8).

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