Officials at the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be gentle when it’s reviewing applications from states that want to run, or help run, health insurance exchange programs.
CCIIO, an arm of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which, in turn, is an arm of HHS, talks about the exchange application process in a set of answers to frequently asked questions posted on its section of the HHS website.
HHS, meanwhile, has posted the final version of the exchange application blueprint, or approval process description. HHS applied for Office of Management and Budget clearance for the blueprint in May.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) calls for federal and state agencies to set up state-based health insurance exchanges, or Web-based insurance supermarkets, that will sell coverage to individuals and small businesses.
States can choose whether to run their own exchanges, participate in multi-state exchange consortiums, or let the federal government provide exchange services for their residents. States and consortia also can decide whether to oversee all exchange functions or share some responsibility with the federal government.
The first application deadline was Aug. 1, and the last will be Nov. 3, 2014.