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Alabama misses exchange deadline

Oct. 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Alabama missed the deadline in the Affordable Care Act for setting up state health insurance exchanges, the governor said.

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley blamed a lack of guidance from the federal government as the reason Alabama wasn't ready on Oct. 1, Al.com reported.

"As both a physician and a governor, I have determined that it is irresponsible and short-sighted to make a decision on essential health benefits by confining that decision to a few select plans," Bentley said in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Her department asked states to submit lists of essential benefits that would be models for plans offered on the exchanges.

Bentley said his state simply doesn't have enough information on guidelines to make a decision that could impact the health care coverage of every person in Alabama.

He also said he was concerned that health savings accounts were not part of the health care equation.

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