Is there trouble in paradise? We are less than a year away from the initial enrollment for the new health insurance exchanges and several states have not made a decision about running an exchange. Now the government has again extended the deadline for decisions.
As reported by Kaiser Health News:
Obama Administration Extends Deadline For State Exchanges –Again
TOPICS: HEALTH REFORM
By Phil Galewitz
KHN Staff Writer
NOV 15, 2012
Bowing to a request from Republican governors, the Obama administration announced late Thursday that it would give states more time to decide whether to build online insurance marketplaces that will help millions of people buy health coverage starting next fall.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave states until Dec. 14 to submit a letter of intent as well as a detailed plan to build a state-based market, called an exchange. The original deadline had been Friday, Nov. 16.
A week ago, Sebelius gave states more time, also until Dec. 14, to submit detailed plans for state-based markets , and until Feb. 15 to submit plans to partner with the federal government.
“We are committed to providing states with the flexibility, resources and time they need to deliver the benefits of the health care law to the American people,” Sebelius wrote late Thursday to the Republican Governors Association. “We will continue to work directly with individual states to address their particular questions and concerns.”
Thursday’s decision came a day after the Republican Governors Association asked the administration to extend the deadline until after HHS publishes rules about how the exchanges would work.
“States are struggling with many unanswered questions and are not able to make comprehensive far-reaching decisions prudently,” said the RGA letter signed by Govs. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Just seven states have yet to decide whether to build and run state-based exchanges — Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Idaho, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Arizona and Wisconsin.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have committed to running their own exchanges — far fewer than envisioned by the Obama administration when the law was passed in 2010. The rest have not yet responded, or indicated they planned to partner with the federal government or to allow the federal government to run the exchanges.