WASHINGTON – The Obama administration moved Friday to give states more time to submit plans for setting up insurance exchanges in 2013, a central pillar of the healthcare law.
These exchanges are designed to allow Americans who don’t get coverage through work to buy insurance on Internet-based marketplaces much as they shop for airline tickets today. They were to be operated by states starting next fall so consumers could get insurance starting in 2014.
But just 15 states, including California, Maryland and Connecticut, as well as the District of Columbia, have established an exchange, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
Several states, mostly led by Republican governors, have indicated they will not run an exchange, however. Ultimately, more than a third of the states are expected to reject the option, forcing the federal government to step in and operate an exchange in any state that elects not to do so.