Christie opts for federally run health exchange for N.J.

TRENTON – The Christie administration Friday opted not to participate in a state-federal Health Care Exchange, instead opting to let the federal government run it.

Friday was the deadline for states across the country to decide which route under the Affordable Care Act they would follow.

“Christie today gave formal notice to the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that New Jersey is opting to put in place a federally administered Exchange for Plan Year 2014, because it is the most responsible choice for the state,” his administration stated in a release. 

“My Administration is committed to meeting our obligation to comply with the Affordable Care Act, but only in a manner that is the most effective and efficient for the residents of New Jersey, and the businesses that will carry the costs of this new program,” Christie said. 

“New Jersey enjoys a respected and earned reputation as a national leader in treatment and coverage, and our residents rightfully expect excellence in healthcare.

 “In order to move forward in a manner that best meets that standard for our families and businesses, and that ensures that all New Jerseyans have access to the best healthcare options supported by the most effective insurance coverage, I have determined that federal operation of the Exchange is the responsible choice for our state.”

Earlier, the administration had elected not to operate a state-run exchange.

Approximately 20 states have chosen either to run their own exchange or operate one in cooperation with the federal government.

Supporters of state-run exchanges argued that by not operating one, states give up control to Washington, D.C.

Under the exchanges, web sites will be created allowing consumers to shop for best options.

When he vetoed a health care exchange bill in December, Christie said the state would comply with the Affordable Care Act, but only in the “most efficient and cost-effective way.’’

A copy of Christie’s letter is attached.

Earlier stories:

Health care exchange act vetoed

Christie opts for federally run health exchange for N.J.