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How will a federal-state partnership be different from a federal or state exchange?

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  • contributor
  • August 15, 2013

Q. My state exchange is going to be a federal-state partnership. How will that be different from a federal or state exchange?

A. Seven states have opted for a partnership exchange with the federal government (Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, West Virginia). The partnership exchange is essentially a federal exchange with varying degrees of input, regulation and oversight from the state’s Division of Insurance. The specifics are different in each state, as HHS has given states a lot of leeway in determining what aspects of a partnership exchange should be state-run. States can utilize the partnership model initially and then transition to a state-based exchange later on, so your state might eventually have a fully state-run exchange.

The goal of the partnership exchanges is to utilize the efficiency of a federally run exchange while giving states a broad scope of authority over the day-to-day running of the exchange and interface with insurers and consumers. From a consumer perspective, the whole thing should be seamless and efficient, and you won’t notice that the oversight of the exchange is divided between the state and federal governments. You’ll be working with local navigators and other exchange personnel who are hired by the exchange and trained on the specific details about the plans that will be available in your state.

If you’re interested in the specific details of which entity will run the various parts of the partnership exchanges, this HHS bulletin has a lot of information.