Lawmakers want the federal government to control the state’s health insurance exchange
Some lawmakers in Rhode Island want to see control of the state’s health insurance exchange ceded to the federal government. The new director of the exchange, however, wants the state to remain in control of the exchange, called HealthSource RI. Director Anya Rader Wallack believes that the state has managed its own exchange successfully, and should continue to do so for the sake of the health insurance market. The Rhode Island exchange has managed to perform well while other exchanges struggled to meet the needs of consumers.
Rhode Island exchange may be a costly burden for the state’s taxpayers
Some of the state’s lawmakers believe that the health insurance exchange is too costly a burden for the state’s taxpayers. As such, these lawmakers want the federal government to take control of the exchange. If this happens, the state would no longer have direct control of the health insurance exchange, which could have an impact on what kind of policies are available and how expensive these policies are.
New director notes that the exchange will cost $50 million to run this fiscal year
According to Wallack, it will cost more than $50 million to operate the state’s health insurance exchange this year. She has noted that the costs associated with the exchange’s information system, customer service, and startup have increased. As a result, Wallack is planning for the exchange to spend less on marketing efforts and cutting other costs to bring down the annual expense of the exchange to $20 million or lower.
30,000 Rhode Island residents enroll for coverage through the state’s insurance exchange
Some 30,000 people in Rhode Island enrolled in the state’s health insurance exchange during the latest open enrollment period. Approximately 80% of these people obtained coverage through the exchange last year and opted to renew their policies through the exchange. The exchange has also helped people access subsidies that are offered by the federal government, which can be used to offset the overall cost of health insurance coverage.