HHS Gives States an Extension on Exchange Establishment Funding Requests – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

“Be careful what you wish for” is the adage that came to
mind when HHS announced it planned to extend the final deadline for applying
for Level II exchange establishment funding from June 29, 2012 to November 3,
2014. The announcement published in the federal register today proposed to set the rolling
deadline for Level II grant applications for: August 1, 2012; November 1,
2012; February 1, 2013; May 1, 2013; August 1, 2013; November 1, 2013; February
3, 2014; May 1, 2014; August 1, 2014; and November 3, 2014.

While many states were hoping for an extension, it could
get them into a predicament similar to the one my son found himself in when he
took advantage of a deadline extension on the first phase of his science fair
project.  He was thrilled when the
teacher offered him an extension until he realized that the date of the science
fair would not change.  He ended up
behind the eight ball trying to get his project completed in time.


This is welcome news for states that just can’t get
their applications in by the original deadlines, however, it’s important to note that the
target date for getting their exchanges up and running hasn’t changed so it
would be a good idea to keep moving forward as diligently as possible despite
the extra time.


Hopefully states will follow the old adage “there is no
time like the present” when considering whether or not to delay their
applications.  After all, “the
early bird gets the worm” and the earliest funded exchanges will most likely
produce the best results for families and individuals patiently waiting for a
more competitive insurance marketplace to help them find more affordable health
care coverage.


Editor’s Note: For more information on the exchange establishment
grants, please read previous Say Ahhh! blog posts on the topic.

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