KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Delays Health Exchange Decision Deadline To Dec. 14

The Obama administration announced late Thursday that it was extending the deadline for states to decide whether they would establish and operate these online insurance markets. A number of Republican governors had complained about the initial Nov. 16 deadline.

The New York Times: U.S. Extends Deadline For States On Health Insurance Exchanges
For the second time in a week, the Obama administration said on Thursday that it was extending the deadline for states to decide whether they will establish and operate online markets where consumers can shop for health insurance under the new health care law (Pear, 11/15).

NPR: Health Exchange Activity Heats Up As Deadline Is Extended
There's nothing quite like a deadline to focus the mind. Even a deadline that's not quite real. Friday was originally the day that states were supposed to not only tell the federal government whether they planned to run their own health exchanges but also how they planned to do it (Rovner, 11/15).

The Wall Street Journal: Deadline Delayed For A Month On Health Exchanges
Hours ahead of a Friday deadline, the administration told states that they could take another month to declare if they will set up their own insurance exchanges, where people can shop for approved plans and apply for tax subsidies toward the cost of health-insurance premiums. The exchanges are one of the main ways the law tries to extend coverage to up to 30 million Americans (Radnofsky and Nelson, 11/15).

Politico: HHS Pushes Back Health Exchange Deadline To Dec. 14
HHS is moving the exchange goalposts yet again. With one day to go before states were supposed to declare whether they plan to run their own exchanges, HHS gave them a last-minute reprieve Thursday night — although all but about 10 states had already made their intentions clear by then (Millman, 11/15).

Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Extends Deadline For State Exchanges – Again
Bowing to a request from Republican governors, the Obama administration announced late Thursday that it would give states more time to decide whether to build online health insurance markets that will help millions of people buy coverage starting next fall. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pushed back the deadline until Dec. 14 for states to submit letters of intent to build the state-based markets, called exchanges. The original deadline had been Friday, Nov. 16 (Galewitz, 11/15).

The Hill: HHS Extends Health Care Deadline For States
States now have until Dec. 14 to decide whether they want to run their exchanges entirely on their own (though using billions of dollars in federal grant money). Those that don't will have until Feb. 15 to decide whether they want to work in partnership with the federal government or cede the task entirely to Washington. "States have and will continue to be partners in implementing the health care law and we are committed to providing states with the flexibility, resources and time they need to deliver the benefits of the health care law to the American people," HHS said in a letter to Republican governors. "We will continue to work directly with individual states to address their particular questions and concerns" (Baker, 11/15).

Bloomberg: States Given More Time To Decide On Health Exchange Plan
States received an extra month from the Obama administration to decide whether to build online marketplaces for medical insurance after Republican governors pressed their resistant to the president’s health-care law. Extending a deadline set for today, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said states can wait until Dec. 14 to declare whether they’ll build their own insurance exchanges. States that opt out can join a partnership with the federal government or let the U.S. run the markets (Wayne and Nussbaum, 11/16).

Reuters: U.S. Gives States More Time To Make Obama Health Law Decision
The federal government on Thursday gave states another month to decide if they will operate insurance exchanges under the new U.S. healthcare law, after some Republican governors stalled in the hope President Barack Obama would lose last week's election. The delay was the second time in a week that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed flexibility on deadlines as a way to entice states to cooperate in implementing Obama's signature domestic achievement (Charles and Kelleher, 11/16).

Stateline: States Get More Time To Decide If They Will Run Their Own Health Insurance Exchanges
With one day left before states were required to notify Washington if they wanted to form their own health insurance "exchanges," the insurance marketplaces authorized by the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius granted a one month extension yesterday. She said states will also have to submit detailed exchange "blueprints" at that time. Since postponement of the deadline came at the last minute, this week was marked by a flurry of announcements from governors about how they intended to run their exchanges. The deadline for states to commit to partnering with the federal government is still set for February 15, 2013, according to a letter from Sebelius to the Republican Governors Association (Vestal and Ollove, 11/16).

NBC: Feds Give States A Last-Minute Break On Insurance Marketplaces
States got a last-minute extension late Thursday of a deadline to decide whether they'll build their own health insurance marketplaces, or let the federal government do it for them. Republican governors had been complaining about the Nov. 16 deadline to file their formal decision with the Health and Human Services Department, mostly because HHS has not yet told them what a federal exchange would look like. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave in at almost the last moment, extending the deadline to Dec. 14 (Fox, 11/15). 

CBS: HHS Pushes Back States Health Reform Deadline
Responding to Republican criticism, the Obama administration is giving states an extra month to make a key decision about how to implement the Affordable Care Act. The move comes in response to a letter sent yesterday by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chair of the Republican Governors Association, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, asking President Obama to step in and extend the deadline. "As has been stated many times, before making any final policy decisions, governors must carefully consider the short and long-term implications of an expanded entitlement program and the consequences of significantly increasing the size of government to manage these programs," they wrote (Condon, 11/15).

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