Skip to Content

Filter by:

Washington Highlights

HHS Issues New Guidance on State Partnership Exchanges

January 11, 2013—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Jan. 3 issued a new guidance on the State Partnership Exchange, which provides a basic roadmap and framework for states considering the option to partner with the federal government in operating a health insurance exchange rather than running the exchange themselves.  The deadline for states to submit proposals to HHS for partnership exchanges is Feb. 15.

A state partnership exchange is a hybrid model that enables states to assume primary responsibility for carrying out certain exchange activities related to plan management, consumer assistance and outreach, or both.  As the guidance explains, states interested in partnering with HHS in operating an exchange may choose between a State Plan Management Partnership Exchange, a State Consumer Partnership Exchange, or a combination of the two.

Responsibilities that states will have to assume if they propose to run a State Plan Management Partnership Exchange include:

  • Recommending plans for certification as qualified health plans on the exchange;
  • Recertification and decertification of plans on the exchange;
  • Qualified Health Plan issuer account management; and
  • Day-to-day administration and oversight of qualified health plan issuers. 

Responsibilities that states will have to assume if they propose to run a State Consumer Partnership Exchange include:

  • Day-to-day management of the Exchange Navigators;
  • The development and management of a separate and distinct in-person assistance program; and
  • Outreach and educational activities.

To date, HHS has authorized 19 states and the District of Columbia to proceed with their plans to establish exchanges.  Of these, 17 states and D.C. will run their own state-based exchange.   Arkansas and Delaware already have indicated that they plan to establish state partnership exchanges with the federal government.  The federal government will set up a “federally facilitated exchange” in any state where the secretary of Health and Human Services determines that there will not be an operational state-based exchange by Jan. 1, 2014. 


Ivy Baer, J.D., M.P.H.
Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel
Telephone: 202-828-0499

Allison M. Cohen, J.D., LL.M.
Senior Policy and Regulatory Specialist
Telephone: 202-862-6085

Jane Eilbacher
Policy and Regulatory Specialist
Telephone: 202-828-0896


envelope on a green background

Subscribe to Washington Highlights

RSS icon

Subscribe to RSS

Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Past Issues

For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806