HealthSource RI

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has replaced Christine Ferguson as the head of HealthSourceRI, replacing her with Anya Rader Wallack. RIPR reported December 23 how Raimondo was expected to make this change.

Raimondo did not explain the reason for the change in a statement. Outgoing Governor Lincoln Chafee created HealthSource, Rhode Island's version of Obamacare by executive order, and legislative leaders have not been huge fans of the program.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The deadline to renew health insurance plans through Health Source RI is coming up on December 23rd.  The state’s health insurance exchange is holding an enrollment fair today in Warwick to help customers in person. We checked in with a few to find out how it’s going.

Warwick resident Kim Darcy was waiting her turn to speak with a health insurance counselor. Darcy plans to re-enroll. And she says she’s thankful there’s a plan she can afford after going without for many years.

HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson has penned an op-ed in the Providence Journal to plead her case for keeping the health insurance exchange in local hands. Her commentary comes days after a Projo editorial arguing the state should scrap its exchange.

Health care providers say their patients can’t afford the co-pays and deductibles in their new health insurance plans. A special Rhode Island senate commission met with providers Wednesday to learn more. David Spencer is head of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of Rhode Island. He said the patients struggling with costs are primarily those with plans from the state’s online health insurance exchange.

“What’s happening is a lot of these individuals are not following through on treatment, dropping out," said Spencer.

Enrollment on the state’s health insurance marketplace Health Source R-I is going relatively smoothly. This is the second enrollment period since it opened last year.

Health Source RI spokeswoman Maria Tocco says there were some minor issues with the web site and the call center phones but they were addressed quickly. Wait times swelled over the weekend and some scheduled appointments for hours later.

Data on the number of individual and family enrollments so far are expected toward the end of this week.

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