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Virginia chooses federal health exchange

Governor Robert McDonnell’s office announced Friday Virginia will not set up a statewide health exchange.

Virginia was the first state to sue over the Affordable Care Act, The Washington Post reports. McDonnell, a longtime opponent of the mandate, says he favors a federal exchange because Washington has not given him enough information to determine whether Virginia can afford a state-run system.

In a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), McDonnell wrote he is unsure whether states have the “necessary flexibility, control and funding of their own exchanges,” The Daily Progress reports.

Virginia lawmakers were working on plans to build a state-run benefits exchange but decided to forego implementation, states WTVR. McDonnell is still considering a hybrid exchange for Virginia. He has until February 15 to decide.

Friday was the deadline for states to alert Washington whether they create a local exchange, rely on the federal government’s, or build a hybrid system with state and federal elements. The healthcare law mandates HHS to approve the blueprints for states that choose a local system by January 1.

As of Friday, 19 states have declared an internal exchange, 7 are planning a partnership exchange and 25 have defaulted to Washington, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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