On December 10, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conditionally approved plans for health insurance exchanges in the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington. These state health insurance exchanges are expected to be operational by the fall of 2013 and will begin to enroll state residents into qualified health plans through the exchanges beginning January 1, 2014.
HHS continues to work with other states seeking to operate these “state-based” health insurance exchanges, those who only want to partially operate an exchange (“state partnership exchanges”), and those who will decline to operate an exchange but whose residents will then be eligible to participate in the “federally-facilitated” health insurance exchange. Regulations and final guidance for the state partnership exchanges and the federally-facilitated health insurance exchange have yet to be issued. States seeking to operate a state-based exchange must notify HHS by this Friday, December 14.
HHS has issued a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet to explain current plans for the three types of health insurance exchanges, as well as additional clarifications on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, the consumer assistance/navigator program, and other related ACA implementation issues.