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HHS Charts Progress with State Exchanges, Details Extensions, Tweaks

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $220 million in Affordable Insurance Exchange grants to 13 more states to help them create exchanges. Now, there is a total of 29 states moving toward creating exchanges, including Arizona.

So what are state exchanges? Why are they important?

  • They are one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs, an important part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act (PPACA). The health care reform law gives states the freedom to design their affordable insurance exchanges.

The HHS also announced a six-month extension for level one grant applications, effective from December 30th to June 29th, 2012, to accommodate state legislative sessions and give states more time to apply. Under the Affordable Care Act, states must ensure that their Exchanges are self-sustaining by January 1st, 2015.