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HHS extends exchange deadline a month

By - Last modified: November 16, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Today is no longer the final day for states to decide whether they want to run their own health insurance exchanges.

Last evening, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius sent governors a letter granting them an extension to Dec. 14 on the decision. That is the same date she set last week for states choosing to run their own exchanges to submit plans for how to do so.

Today was previously the deadline for both the decision and blueprint. According to Kaiser Health News, Pennsylvania is one of only seven states that remain undecided on whether to build state-based exchanges. The others are Tennessee, Idaho, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Sibelius said in her letter that the extension was in a response to a request from the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee for more time on the decision.

“We will continue to work directly with individual states to address their particular questions and concerns,” she wrote. “We are confident Governors will have enough time to decide whether they want to establish an Exchange, work in partnership with the federal government or have a federally-facilitated Exchange in their state.”

On Monday, Pennsylvania said it still had not received answers to the 26 exchange questions it asked in August, when Pennsylvania Insurance Department Commissioner Michael Consedine indicated that the state would not proceed with extensive planning until it received further direction.