The Department of Health and Human Services today granted seven more states conditional approval to operate health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014: California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah. The agency also issued additional guidance on the partnership exchange model, which allows states to assume primary responsibility for certain functions of a federally-facilitated exchange permanently or as they work towards running a state-based exchange. To date, HHS has granted 19 states and the District of Columbia conditional approval to partially or fully run exchanges. States opting for a partnership exchange must submit a blueprint by Feb. 15. According to the new guidance, states wishing to transition from a partnership exchange to a state-based exchange for plan year 2015 should submit a declaration letter and blueprint application to HHS by Nov. 18, 2013.