States have been slow to buy into the state-run Exchange model. Exchanges—online health insurance portals—are a key part of the Affordable Care Act. They will allow consumers to learn more about insurance options, compare plans, and purchase coverage. HHS originally thought that many states would choose to manage their own Exchanges. However, many states have not opted in for a variety of reasons. In response, HHS has waived deadlines for states to announce their intention to adopt their own Exchanges.
The Affordable Care Act requires all states to have an Exchange by October 2013. If states choose not to manage their own, the federal government will manage the Exchange. To date, 17 states will administer their own Exchange. Prior estimates indicated that many more states would opt in. Because of this, the federal government may have to pay more to administer Exchanges than estimated.
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