Several States Receive Conditional Approval For Their Health Insurance Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that more states are on track to establish health insurance exchanges in their states. California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, and Utah are conditionally approved to operate a state-based exchange, and Arkansas is conditionally approved to operate a state partnership exchange. HHS also is providing more guidance to states on marketplaces that will be operated in partnership with the federal government.

“States across the country are working to implement the health care law and build a marketplace that works for their residents,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “In ten months, consumers in all 50 states will have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase affordable, high quality health insurance plans, and the additional guidance will provide the information states need to guide their continued work.”

These new conditional approvals increase the number of conditional approvals previously granted to twenty. Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington were previously approved to operate state-based exchanges and Delaware was approved to operate a state partnership exchange. The remaining states have until Feb. 15, 2013, to apply for a state partnership exchange.

Pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to a new marketplace starting in 2014 where they can access quality, affordable private health insurance. Exchanges will give consumers in every state a chance to buy insurance directly from qualified health plans and may allow them to be eligible for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance.

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