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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must make a determination on or before January 1, 2013, that a state will in fact have an exchange in operation by 2014 and that the exchange meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and HHS guidance. In a letter dated November 15, 2012, Secretary Sebelius indicated that a state may submit both a letter of intent and an application to operate its own exchange by December 14, 2012. If a state elects not to operate an exchange, or if the HHS determines that the state will not be able to have an exchange operational by 2014 that meets the law’s requirements, the ACA gives the HHS the authority to establish and operate such exchange within the state.
Alaska did not apply for an Affordable Insurance Exchange Grant.
Alaska failed to pass legislation in 2011 and 2012 that would have established a state health insurance exchange. On July 17, 2012, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced the Alaska would not create a state-run health insurance exchange. His decision was based on the results of a study on health insurance exchange planning.