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District Declares Intention to Move Forward With Developing Health Exchange for Residents

Monday, November 19, 2012
The action is consistent with the requirement of the landmark Affordable Care Act.

The District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) formally declared to The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CIIO), the HHS agency responsible for implementing the provision of the Affordable Care Act,  its intention to develop and operate a state-based health benefit exchange. The anticipated action moved the District one step closer to being one of the first states in the nation to actualize President Obama’s historic health reform bill that was signed into law March 23, 20120.

“It is with great pride that I provide this Declaration Letter confirming the District of Columbia’s ongoing commitment to develop and operate a state-based health benefit exchange, consistent with the authority and requirement of the Affordable care Act, wrote Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia in his letter of intent The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CIIO).

Mayor Gray also stated that the District was proud to partner with the federal government and he looked forward to further collaborations with federal agencies to achieve President Obama’s vision for universal access to health coverage for all Americans.

The Declaration Letter accompanied the HBX’s Blueprint Application submission, which outlined legal authority and governance, plan management, consumer and stakeholder engagement plans,   risk adjustment and reinsurance, technology, contracting and other exchange requirements.

Although the deadline for submission of these documents was extended an additional thirty (30) days to allows states that not done so to complete the process, the District’s application was submitted by the original federal deadline of November 16, 2012. 

“Our team has worked very hard to complete this application process and I am extremely proud of their efforts, said Dr. Mohammad Akhter, chair of the HBX authority. “I have every reason to believe that the federal government will accept our plans and we will continue to move full speed ahead to begin enrollment in the exchange in October 2013.” 


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About the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority - The Executive Board of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority was established as a requirement of Section 6 of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority Establishment Act of 2011, effective March 2, 2012 (D.C. Law 19-0094). The exchange is the central mechanism created by the federal health reform bill to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance coverage.

Beginning in 2014, an Exchange will be established to help consumers make valid comparisons between certified plans that have met benchmarks for quality and affordability. The Exchange will also administer the new health insurance subsidies and facilitate enrollment in private health insurance, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With more than 93 percent of its residents insured, the District of Columbia is second in the nation for providing health insurance coverage to its residents.