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States move forward to implement health care law, build health insurance marketplaces

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that three more states are on track to implement the health care law and establish health insurance marketplaces, or Exchanges, in their states. HHS issued the first conditional approval of a State Partnership Exchange to Delaware and Minnesota and Rhode Island are conditionally approved today to operate a State-based Exchange.

Today’s conditional approvals follow those issued last week to Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Washington to operate State-based Exchanges.

The conditional approval provided to Delaware today is the first of its kind and shows the progress Delaware has made ahead of the Feb. 15, 2013, deadline to apply to operate a State Partnership Exchange.   The State Partnership Exchange model is an option provided to states that want to manage part of the Exchange in 2014. A Partnership Exchange allows states to make key decisions and tailor the marketplace to local needs and market conditions. In addition to Delaware, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and North Carolina have also expressed early interest in establishing a State Partnership Exchange.

“States across the country are working to implement the health care law and build a marketplace that works for their residents,” said Secretary Sebelius. “In ten months, consumers in all fifty states will have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase quality health insurance plans.”

Because of the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses in every state will have access to a new marketplace starting in 2014 where they can access quality, affordable private health insurance. These are similar to those choices that will be offered to members of Congress.

Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance.

To learn more about Exchange conditional approvals, visit: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/state-marketplaces.html

To view Exchange letters from states, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/letters/index.html

For more information on Exchanges, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/exchanges

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