States Making Progress On Health Exchange

Dec 10, 2012

It’s official. Washington has reached a milestone in creating its own health exchange. Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Washington is among six states to make significant progress in developing an online market for health plans.

The six states have made enough progress that they received conditional approval from the feds. They were able to show that they’re on track to meet federal deadlines in setting up an online market for health insurance. For example, Washington submitted a blueprint that outlines how it plans to be up and running ten months from now.

Gary Cohen is with the department’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. He says there’s still work to be done.

"The six states today have demonstrated that they have made good progress and have a plan on the path that we believe will get them to full operation of the exchange…but basically as long as the state is on the path towards being able to operate the exchange then the conditional approval will remain.”

Washington state is among a dozen states that opted to create its own health exchange. Oregon is also creating its own online program, and has received conditional approval as well. Other states have until the end of the week to decide whether to set up their own exchange, or set up a partnership with the federal agency.

Copyright 2012 KUOW