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State-federal health insurance exchanges present uncertain future

Posted On Wed, December 19, 2012

As the dawn of the age of health care exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) draws nearer, many industry analysts are left scratching their heads at the concept of what a state-federal exchange partnership will entail.

According to Forbes, 30 states have officially opted out of forging their own health exchanges, meaning that they will either give up the process entirely to federal forces or partner with them to see it through.

A partnership between the two authorities would divide obligations evenly, according to the plan. Both federal and state authorities would be responsible for organizing the plans designed to bring lower health insurance rates to the nation's consumers.

Joel Ario, former head of insurance exchange planning at HHS, notes that the partnership would allow states to retain control of consumer assistance and insurer regulation, but cede technical responsibilities to federal control.

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