Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


HHS Secretary Provides More Time for States to Decide on Exchanges

By Rebecca Adams, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

November 9, 2012 -- State officials interested in running their own health insurance exchange or partnering with the federal government will have more time to give the Department of Health and Human Services information about the type of marketplace they want, according to a letter Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently sent to governors.

States had faced a Nov. 16 deadline to submit their applications to HHS officials if they want to operate a state-only exchange. Instead, states will still have to notify HHS by Nov. 16 that they hope to run their own exchanges. But they will have until Dec. 14 to send in their blueprint document, which asks for specifics on how the market will be operated and overseen.

States that want to partner with federal officials on an exchange will not have to meet the Nov. 16 deadline at all. HHS officials will make approvals on the partnerships on a rolling basis. Feb. 15, 2013 is the final deadline for states to send in a declaration letter and the application.

Officials in several states had indicated last week that HHS would delay the deadlines.

Under the health care law, enrollment in the exchanges is set to begin in October 2013 with the new marketplaces due to be up and running in January, 2014. Federal officials expressed confidence late last week that the deadline changes would not push back that timetable.

In states without state-run exchanges or partnerships, the federal government will step in and establish a marketplace.

States that initially decide not to participate in the exchanges can apply in later years.

"We have heard from many states that additional time would allow you to submit a more comprehensive, complete blueprint application for your exchange," said the two-page letter.

Publication Details