Joel Ario Discusses New HHS Priorities

Joel Ario Discusses New HHS Priorities

"10 More State Exchange Plans Submitted"
Modern Healthcare

December 17, 2012 - Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, discussed with Modern Healthcare the priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, now that the deadline has passed for states to submit blueprint applications for state-run exchanges.

Modern Healthcare reports that 10 more states have submitted their plans to operate a state-based insurance exchange in 2014, bringing the tally to 18 states and Washington, D.C., of those that intend to operate their own exchanges. States have until mid-February to indicate if they want to operate an exchange in partnership with the federal government.

Now HHS has three top priorities, starting with developing final rules for a host of recently proposed regulations that affect the exchanges, said Ario, previously the director of the office of health insurance exchanges at HHS.

Ario also said HHS needs to make headway on establishing the federally operated exchange in time for the open enrollment period that begins next October.

"It's more of an IT challenge," Ario said, "but they seem to be making good progress." And HHS must continue to work with the states that will run their own exchanges.

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