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Friday, July 13, 2012
by Sara Hansard
Twelve states have notified the Department of Health and Human Services that they intend to establish their own internet-based health insurance exchange markets in accordance with the health care reform law, HHS Secretary Sebelius announced July 11.
The 12 states have nearly a third of the nation’s population, Sebelius said. The states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. In addition, July 10 Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear (D) wrote Sebelius, saying that he will issue an executive order to establish a state exchange by 2014.
Not on the list was Utah, which established its own online exchange before enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. Massachusetts also established its own exchange prior to passage of PPACA. The exchange letters from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) did not state that their state exchanges would be in operation by 2014, when exchanges must be in operation in all states under PPACA.
In a blog, Sebelius pledged to give states flexibility to tailor the exchanges to meet their citizens’ needs. States can build their own exchanges, work with other states, or partner with the federal government to create exchanges, she said. Under PPACA, HHS will establish exchanges in states that do not take one of those options.
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