Exchange in our hands

California receives federal approval for health-insurance exchange plan

Most states are planning to let the federal government operate their health-insurance exchanges, but California is an exception.

On Thursday, Jan. 3, President Obama’s administration granted conditional approval to California’s plan to build and operate its own health-insurance exchange, according to The Sacramento Bee. Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah were also granted approval; Arkansas received approval for a state partnership exchange.

Ideally, California’s exchange (expected to open in October) will work like websites Amazon and Expedia—users will be able to choose among health-insurance plans in an online store. Officials estimate that about 4.4 million Californians will be using the exchange by the end of 2016.