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American Cancer Society Details Lengthy Process Involved to Set Up New York's Health Insurance Exchange


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Albany, NY – (March 23, 2012) Citing the extensive steps that need to happen before a health insurance exchange can begin to serve New Yorkers, today the American Cancer Society called on the NYS Legislature to approve Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to create a health insurance exchange in its final budget. To illustrate the many processes that must occur before the exchange can become operational, the American Cancer Society created the “Exchangopoly” board game.

“You can’t throw a switch and have an exchange become active,” said Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. “New York has not even passed ‘Go’ when it comes to setting up an exchange, and the clock is ticking for cancer patients and other New Yorkers who need affordable health insurance. This is a game with real-life consequences.”

Gov. Cuomo included the exchange in his Executive Budget and the Assembly did the same in their budget plan. The Senate’s budget proposal did not include the exchange.

The many operational functions that need to be implemented to create an effective, well-managed exchange include: appointing a governing board; hiring staff; issuing requests for proposals from vendors for functions such as information technology, marketing and a call center; developing financial systems; designing a consumer-friendly web portal; and determining health plans to be sold via the exchange. These milestones are depicted in squares on the game board including deadlines by which the actions must be completed.

A health insurance exchange will be the marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase quality, affordable health plans. According to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, a state must create its own exchange by January 1, 2014 or the federal government will intervene to create it.

Fourteen states have set up health insurance exchanges, including the latest state, Mississippi. New Jersey’s legislature passed an exchange bill that has been sent to Gov. Christie for approval.

Additional Reading:
Exchangopoly [PDF 703KB]
Exchangeopoly on Flickr
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of New York
Learn about Heath Care from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network


About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

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