Today is the deadline for states to submit to the department of Health and Human Services whether or not they plan to set up a state based health insurance exchange. The Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius has agreed to allow states more time to submit the documentation should they choose to set up their own. To the surprise of this writer there is a huge variation between states opting to set up their own model versus those who are going to allow the federal government the authority to set up the exchange.
Under the Affordable Care Act commonly referred to as Obamacare, the health insurance exchanges were created to be a marketplace for individuals and businesses to purchase private health insurance. States were given the option to either set up their own, let the federal government set them up or do a federal and state partnership. The issue will become a cost versus control argument because they are extrordionarily expensive and some states choosing the federal model will suffer future heartburn over future federal decisions.
The exchanges are important because they are the main mechanism for driving the uninsured to the private health insurance marketplace. They are also very expensive and a new government program designed to get millions of Americans on to public health insurance.
Here is how the states break down.