HHS Provides Deadline for States on Health Insurance Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has given states until Nov. 16 to provide details on how they plan to implement and run online insurance exchanges, according to an agency release issued Wednesday.

The agency will complete the plans for states that do not meet the mandated deadline. The exchanges, which are required under the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act are designed to reduce the cost of health coverage for consumers while sparking competition between insurance carriers. Consumers would have the ability to buy health plans from a menu of insurance providers and on a sliding scale according to income.

It is unclear how the implementation of the exchanges will impact the cost or access for home health services. States will have ability to implement the exchanges or allow HHS to do it for them.

A ruling from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the ACA is due this summer which could overturn or trim back the scope of the health care reform law. Twenty-six states brought the case saying the ACA overstepped the government’s constitutional powers.

If the law prevails in the courts, it may still face a challenge if President Barack Obama fails to win re-election. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the law if elected.

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