Friday marked the deadline for states to declare whether they will create a local benefits exchange or rely on the federal government to set up a system. Prior to the deadline, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had received and approved blueprints from six states, according to a post by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Human Health and Services, on the federal HealthCare Blog.
Last week, HHS announced it had also approved plans from two more states and the District of Columbia.
“These states are on track to meet all exchange deadlines and be ready for open enrollment in ten months,” Sebelius writes.
An additional ten blueprints have been received and are undergoing revision.
While the opportunity to declare a state-based exchange has passed, governors have been given more time to consider whether they want to run a State Partnership Exchange, a hybrid state-federal system.
“We know that some states will need more time before being ready to run their own marketplace or want to run part but not all of the exchange in 2014,” Sebelius writes.
States have until February 15 to choose a mixed exchange. Meanwhile, many of the states that have rejected a local exchange are still rejecting the reform, reports Bloomberg’s Bureau of National Affairs (BNA).