Virginia Passes on State-Run HIX

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Dec. 14 that the commonwealth would join 24 other states defaulting to a federally run Health Insurance Exchange (HIX), citing that the Obama administration did not provide Virginia with the information needed to make important financial decisions.

“Originally, I asked that we begin the planning process to potentially operate a state-based exchange for Virginia, primarily so we would be in control of this process. However, despite repeated requests for information, we have not had any clear direction or answers from Washington until recent days, and we cannot conclude, as we review those materials, that we would have the control and flexibility needed to efficiently and effectively run our own state exchange,” McDonnell said in a news release.

In some states, like Washington, plans to build a state-based exchange began as soon as the Affordable Care Act passed. But officials in several states, including Maine, announced they would take no part in the program. Maine Gov. Paul LePage returned a $5.8 million federal grant to be used for a partnership exchange.

As of Dec. 14, the deadline for states to submit blueprints for state-based exchanges, 18 states and the District of Columbia have declared state-based exchanges, seven states are planning for a state/federal partnership, and 25 states defaulted to a federal exchange, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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