Legislative panel receives update on health exchange - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Legislative panel receives update on health exchange

Posted: Updated:
PROVIDENCE -

HealthSource RI will be open for business on Oct. 1, the director of the program Christine Ferguson said Thursday.

The so-called health benefits exchange is a centerpiece of the federal health care overhaul. It's designed to help individuals and small businesses shop for insurance plans.

The federal government gave the state $82 million to set up the program and carry it through its first year. About $69 million has already been spent creating a website and negotiating the insurance offerings from private providers.

"It's a very, very tight timetable so of course we've had bumps in the road and we expect to have more. The federal government has been in to audit our progress and they were in last week and we passed with flying colors, and we're ready to go," Ferguson said.

The House Finance Committee quizzed Ferguson Thursday, because after 2015, the plan must pay for itself.

Ferguson said she believes Rhode Island businesses will be well served by the exchange.

"There will be fewer insured people in Rhode Island and I expect that small businesses for the first time will have more comprehensive and more alternatives than large businesses in the state," she said.

Most Americans will be required to have coverage as of Jan. 1. Many will be able to access federal subsidies through the exchange.

HealthSource RI is offering 12 individual and 16 small group plans for 2014.

About 124,000 people are currently uninsured in Rhode Island in a population of just over 1 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Local PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:19:51 GMT
    President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
  • Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:01:33 GMT
    NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
  • Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.