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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More States Are Moving Forward With Health Exchanges

A total of 15 states are now in the process of setting up exchanges for consumers to purchase affordable health insurance. It may not seem like many states are complying with the Affordable  Care Act mandate, but the 15 states represent half the population of the U.S.

These states recognize that if they don't establish exchanges now, the federal government will do it for them. States would rather manage their own insurance exchanges over letting the government do so. November 16 is the deadline for states to decide if they intend to set up their own exchanges.

States have a choice to develop their own exchanges, partner with the government on state-federal exchanges, or do nothing and have the federal government operate exchanges. The states who have built their own exchanges include Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, District of Columbia, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Illinois, Arkansas and Delaware have decided to partner with the federal government on health exchanges. Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska, South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Louisiana have already opted not to create exchanges. Sixteen states are currently studying options and nine states are still staying on the sidelines.

Now that the presidential election is over, President Obama will continue to move forward with the Affordable Care Act. It is more than likely that those states who are examining their options as well as those who have been quietly waiting and watching will move forward with either state exchanges or state-federal partnerships. The exchanges are a key component of the Affordable Care Act and the tool to providing affordable health insurance, particularly for low- and moderate-income families.
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