Health advocates push to hasten Pa. insurance exchanges

    With few answers coming from the state, health advocates are concerned Pennsylvania is running up against deadlines for implementing key pieces of the federal Affordable Care Act.

    At issue is the establishment of the health-care insurance exchange — required by the federal law to provide another way for people to shop for health insurance.

    Antoinette Kraus, of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, says the state has already established consensus that its health-care exchange should be run at the state level.

    “The Department of Insurance held hearings last year to hear from stakeholders throughout the state about what their vision was and should Pennsylvania run its own state-based exchange, or should they have the federal government run the exchange,” Kraus said.

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    Kraus says if the state’s going to manage the insurance marketplace alone, it needs to submit a plan to the federal government by mid-November.

    If that and other deadlines aren’t met, the insurance exchange could be run by the federal government, or through a state-federal partnership.

    A spokeswoman for the state Department of Insurance says the agency is still reviewing the health care ruling.

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