U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has approved plans by Delaware to set up a partnership exchange.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for states and federal agencies to work to provide exchange services, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, for eligible individuals and small businesses in all states and the District of Columbia by 2014.
States can choose to operate their own state-based exchange; let HHS provide exchange services for their residents through a federally facilitated exchange; or share exchange management duties with HHS by setting up a partnership exchange.
HHS also has approved efforts by Minnesota and Rhode Island to set up state-based exchanges this week.
HHS asked states to let it know about plans to start state-based exchanges by mid-Cember. Notices of intent to set up partnership exchanges are due Feb. 15, 2013.