Another eight states have now received the all clear in the form of a conditional federal approval.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just announced that an additional eight states have now received their conditional approval for their state based health insurance exchanges, bringing the total number in the country up to 20.
These approvals have been coming through since last week and allow those states to begin moving forward.
Among the newest additions to the approved list for their health insurance exchanges are Hawaii, Utah, California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Vermont, Nevada, and Idaho. Among the others that have already received their approval are Washington D.C., Maryland, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Kentucky, New York, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Washington, and Rhode Island.
According to the HHS, states are working hard to get moving with their health insurance exchanges.
Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS Secretary, said that “States across the country are working to implement the healthcare law and build a marketplace that works for their residents.” She went on to point out that within the upcoming ten months, consumers in every state in the country will “have access to a new marketplace where they will be able to easily purchase affordable, high-quality health insurance plans, and today’s guidance will provide the information states need to guide their continued work.”
There are another 24 states that have defaulted to have their health insurance marketplaces run by the federal government after having declined to run them, themselves. According to Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation data, these include Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Jersey, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Nebraska, Missouri, Maine, Indiana, Alaska, Montana, Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, North Dakota, Florida, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania.
The same data from the Kaiser Foundation says that the remaining six states – North Carolina, Illinois, Delaware, Michigan, Iowa, and West Virginia – remain within the planning stage for their health insurance exchanges. The HHS said that they face a February 15 deadline in order to apply for their State Partnership Exchange Approval.