Though the focus these days is on November 6th, there’s a very important Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadline just ten days later – the deadline for states to tell the federal government whether or not they will be setting up a state-based Exchange. In fact, there are many important implementation dates looming – check out our list:
- September 30, 2012: US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) date for states to decide on their benchmark Essential Health Benefits package. This is not a “drop-dead date,” so we will likely continue to work on this decision through the fall, with either the state or HHS directly. More in a future blog post on this!
- November 6th: Election Day: In Wisconsin, Governor Walker has halted state implementation of the ACA until after the election. *Be sure to ask your candidates if they support meaningful implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
- November 16, 2012: The deadline for states to submit a declaration and blueprint to the HHS, showing their intent and preparedness to establish a state-based or partnership Exchange. After this date, HHS will begin to work to establish federally-facilitated Exchanges in states not moving forward.
- January 1, 2013: HHS ACA deadline to certify state readiness to run their own Exchange. The Department will also issue “conditional approval” for those states that will be ready by January 2014.
- October 2013: Open enrollment period begins for Exchange coverage.
- January 1, 2014: Coverage in Exchange health insurance plans begins!
- Enhanced federal funding is available for Wisconsin to fill the gap in BadgerCare for adults without dependent children. More on this in a recent blog post. There is no deadline for states to take advantage of this opportunity.
These are critical deadlines for decisions that will impact the coverage options women have under the Affordable Care Act. We will continue to advocate for the strongest implementation of these reforms and coverage opportunities – raise your voices with us!