HHS approves eight state exchanges

By January 3, 2013 •

Eight more states are on track to implement health reform.

The Health and Human Services Department said Thursday that
California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah earned
conditional approval to operate state-based exchanges, while Arkansas
will run a partnership exchange.

The announcement brings the total number of states approved to
operate their marketplaces to 20, with 18 running state-based exchanges
and two planning to partner with the federal government.

The department Thursday also issued more guidance to states
considering a partnership exchange, in which the marketplace will be
operated jointly by state and federal officials. The remaining states
that haven’t been approved for exchanges have until Feb. 15 to apply for
a state partnership exchange.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the exchanges, as well as the progress made by many of the states to implement them.

“States across the country are working to implement the health care
law and build a marketplace that works for their residents,” she said.
“In 10 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 today’s guidance will provide the
information states need to guide their continued work.”