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Feds extend deadline for health care exchange plans

States now have until Dec. 14 to outline their plans for developing a health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Oklahoma is one of eight states that has made no significant activity toward the development of such an exchange.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: November 10, 2012

Oklahoma lawmakers have an extra month to outline a blueprint for a state-operated health care exchange or submit to one developed for it by the federal government.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the deadline extension to Dec. 14 in a letter sent to all 50 state governors on Friday.

Oklahoma is one of eight states that have made no significant activity toward the development of a health care exchange, as mandated under the controversial Affordable Care Act in 2010.

States that do not develop an electronic insurance exchange, which would align the uninsured with insurance providers, can opt to develop a state-federal partnership or enroll its residents in a federal exchange program.

The deadline for states to declare their plans remains Nov. 15, according to the letter.

Only the deadline for submitting a blueprint has been extended.

A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin's office said on Friday that she is still exploring the state's options as they relate to a health care exchange.

Fallin in 2010 accepted a $54 million federal grant to set up an exchange but later rejected it at the urging of fellow Republicans.

Funding is still available to all states no matter where they are in the process of planning for an exchange, according to the letter, signed by Health Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


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