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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 07, 2013 11:42 pm

Feds reject proposed health exchange in Miss.

By LAURA TILLMANAssociated Press

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says federal officials have rejected the state's proposed health insurance exchange.

Chaney made the announcement Thursday. An exchange is an online marketplace where people can buy health insurance.

Under the federal health law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, every state is required to have an exchange so people can get coverage starting in January 2014, much of it federally subsidized. States that don't create their own will have one run by Washington.

Chaney submitted an exchange proposal to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in mid-November.

Gov. Phil Bryant objects to the federal healthcare law and sent two letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius trying to block Chaney's proposal. Bryant and Chaney are both Republicans.

While HHS hasn't yet detailed why the blueprint was denied, federal rules state that a coordination strategy with other agencies must be developed and documented.


Associated Press writer Emily Wagster Pettus contributed to this report.