Feds extend deadline for states applying for health exchange $$
It’s a move only a policy wonk could love, but one that has some implications for NC’s effort to set up a health benefits exchange under the federal health care law. Remember, the exchange is where individuals and small businesses can go to buy health insurance and get large tax credits to make that insurance affordable starting in 2013. NC’s effort to start an independent health exchange bogged down last year because NC Blue Cross and other insurers and health interests want to essentially control the state exchange.
Setting a state exchange up costs money and the federal government has substantial grants available to states who are actually moving along in setting up their exchanges. Originally the last day to apply for grant money was June 1, 2012, but now the deadline is June 29th. Why is this important for NC? It gives the NC General Assembly another month – almost to the tentative end of the summer legislative session – to work out problems and show NC actually wants to set up an exchange and so qualify for more grant money.
It would be nice if NC can get it together and set up a consumer-friendly exchange. However, if we can’t, the federal government will set one up for NC anyway. The extended deadline gives NC more time to get its act together.