Seven More States Gain Approval for Exchanges

number 20California was not the only state to gain approval for its health insurance exchange today. There were seven other states who also got their exchanges approved by the federal government. This brings the total up to 20!

The Affordable Care Act is great big health reform law that has many parts. One requirement is that all states will have a health insurance exchange that is functional and accessible by January 1, 2014. Although the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010, it is only recently that some states have completed the appropriate work involved to have their exchanges approved by the federal government.

Each state had three options to choose from for their health insurance exchange. One option was to create a state-based exchange. Another option was to create an exchange that was a partnership between the federal government and the government of an individual state. Yet another option was for a state to allow the federal government to create and run their health insurance exchange.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently granted approval for a new group of eight states. I’ve already written a blog about California gaining approval for it’s state-based exchange.

In addition to California, seven other states had their exchanges approved. They are: Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, Utah, and Arkansas. This brings the grand total of approved health insurance exchanges to 20. Things are moving right along!

Here is an update of the states that have had their exchanges approved so far. Most of them have opted for a state-based exchange. I will note the ones that chose a different option.

* Colorado
* Connecticut
* Maryland
* Massachusetts
* Oregon
* Washington
* Kentucky
* New York
* District of Columbia
* Minnesota
* Rhode Island
* Delaware – will have a federal-state partnership exchange
* California
* Hawaii
* Idaho
* Nevada
* New Mexico
* Vermont
* Utah
* Arkansas – will have a federal-state partnership exchange.

Utah has a state exchange called Avenue H. Parts of it did not comply with the Affordable Care Act. For example, it can only be used by small businesses, and cannot be used by individuals.

Utah has sent an application that indicates the state is willing to change the things that do not comply. They have until February 1, 2013, to submit a more detailed plan that shows the changes that must happen in order for Avenue H to comply with the Affordable Care Act. So, for now, Utah is on the list of states with approved exchanges. It could lose that approval if it doesn’t make necessary changes.

Image by Andy Maguire on Flickr