As part of the ongoing efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Blueprint for Approval of Affordable State-based and State Partnership Insurance Exchanges. This document provides the states with the information they will need to provide to HHS, depending on whether they are planning to operate a state based private health insurance exchange, a state partnership model or whether the federal government will facilitate the exchange.
The exchanges are private health insurance marketplaces that will cover health insurance plans to individuals and small businesses. HHS must approve the plan no later than January 1, 2013 in order to begin operation in 2014. The Blueprint describes the general functions of the exchange and what states need to provide as supporting documentation.