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More States Letting Feds Set Up Health Exchanges

With less than two months to go before states must submit health insurance exchange plans, more states are opting to let the federal government set up an exchange rather than create their own
October 4, 2012

With less than two months to go before states must submit health insurance exchange plans, more states are opting to let the federal government set up an exchange rather than create their own. A.M. Best reports that those decisions come amid congressional complaints that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not provided enough detail about what the exchanges should look like.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, last week said his state would allow the federal government to fund and operate its exchange directly. South Dakota joins seven other states that made similar decisions.

The Affordable Care Act requires each state to have an online system that outlines health insurance options for consumers and lets them compare prices and coverage options based on a standard benchmark. Under the law, exchanges must go live by 2014. The ACA gives states three options for how exchanges may be established: states can develop their own system and run it themselves; states can partner with the federal government and share responsibility for the exchange; or states can decide to take a hands-off approach and let the federal government run the exchange. By November 16, states must submit to HHS a detailed plan for how their exchange would operate and how it would be funded—a deadline just 10 days after the Nov. 6 election.

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