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Del. Is First State To Receive Conditional Approval On Partnership Exchange

Targeted News Service

DOVER, Del., Dec. 20 -- Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., issued the following news release:

In a step toward expanding access to healthcare for Delawareans, Delaware today became the first state to receive conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a State Partnership Health Insurance Exchange under the Affordable Care Act (http://www.healthcare.gov/law/full/index.html).

An exchange is an online marketplace in which consumers will be able to choose and sign up for health care coverage beginning in January 2014. The State Partnership Exchange model is an option provided to states that want to manage part of the exchange in 2014, taking advantage of the federal infrastructure while maintaining control of key decisions and tailoring the marketplace to address local needs and market conditions.

The conditional approval provided to Delaware today is the first of its kind and shows the progress Delaware has made ahead of the February 15, 2013 deadline to apply to operate a State Partnership Exchange.

U. S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recognized this significant milestone on the path to establishing an exchange for the people of Delaware.

"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."

"We appreciate that Secretary Sebelius and her staff recognize Delaware's commitment and leadership in its state health policy," Governor Markell said. "Partnering with the federal government provides us with the ability to address the needs of Delaware's health care consumers, including small businesses, and providers in a fiscally responsible way as we work together to ensure access to quality affordable health care for Delawareans."

Through the State Departments of Health and Social Services and Insurance and the Delaware Health Care Commission, Delaware pursued a State Partnership Exchange instead of a state-based exchange because of Delaware's small population and costs associated with a state-based exchange. Delaware expects to serve about 35,000 people through the Exchange. The state will retain control of plan management, including state requirements for qualified health plans, as well as the consumer assistance function.

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"Health care reform is providing the impetus for even greater collaboration in Delaware among providers, insurers, consumers, businesses, educators and government," said Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the State Department of Health and Social Services. "The exchange is another step that will allow us to bring coverage to the uninsured, focus on patient outcomes and measureable standards, and deliver quality care at a price that families and taxpayers can afford. In return, we also have expectations for the people who are insured. We will encourage people to take responsibility for making healthy choices for their own sake and to reduce the cost of care overall."

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.

In October 2013, Delaware will begin enrolling clients in its health insurance exchange for coverage effective on January 1, 2014.

To stay updated on Delaware's exchange activities, visit the Delaware Health Care Commission website at http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dhcc/

See text of U.S. Health and Human Services release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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.

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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

TNS C-Santpan-Santpan 121221-4148045 71Santosh

Copyright: (c) 2012 Targeted News Service
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