The White House is giving states extra time to set up health insurance exchanges after finding many are behind in efforts to implement a local system, The New York Times reports.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Katherine Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, was supposed to determine on or before January 1, 2013 whether states were prepared to operate online exchanges.
On Monday however Sebelius announced the federal government would extend or waive the deadline for any states that have expressed interest in creating a local system, HealthDay states.
Every state is supposed to have an exchange set up by October and most Americans will be required to be covered by health insurance by January 2014. States have the option to create their own system, rely on a system build by Washington or invest in a hybrid state-federal exchange. The federal government is currently expected to run exchanges for nearly half of the states, according to The New York Times.
“There is no deadline,” Gary M. Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, told the newspaper. “We are going to give final approval once states demonstrate that they are able to satisfy all the requirements and meet all the conditions of operating an exchange.”
Sebelius has given conditional approval to 17 states’ exchanges.