Deadline for blueprints of health exchange extended, deadline to declare remains Friday

The deadline to submit blueprints for a proposed health insurance exchange has been extended until Dec. 14, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

In a letter to governors HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said several states had asked for more time to submit a more comprehensive plan.

“However, today, in order to continue to provide you with appropriate technical support if you are pursuing a State-based Exchange, HHS is extending the deadline for State-based Exchange Blueprint application submissions to Friday, December 14, 2012,” Sebelius said.

The deadline to declare a state’s intent to run a state-based exchange remains Friday, Nov. 16.

It is not yet known whether New Jersey plans to operate its own exchange.  In March the state Legislature passed legislation authorizing a state-based exchange, however Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill.

In late October, the Legislature once again passed the legislation.  Christie has yet to act on that bill and said previously that he would wait until after the presidential election to make any decision.

Republicans, many of whom oppose the creation of the exchanges, had hoped a Mitt Romney victory Tuesday would make the point moot as Romney had promised to repeal The Affordable Care Act – known universally as Obamacare – that requires the creation of the exchange.

To date, New Jersey has received about $7.5 million in federal funds to set up the exchange, which is essentially a marketplace for purchasing health insurance.

A spokesman for the governor said Christie would act on the current legislation “in the normal course” and had nothing further to add to Christie’s previous comments.

Deadline for blueprints of health exchange extended, deadline to declare remains Friday