Executive order may establish RI's health insurance exchange

Providence, RI – Rhode Island is trying another approach in its efforts to create an online marketplace for health insurance.

Legislation to create what's called the health insurance exchange failed to pass in the General Assembly this year, so Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts is looking into whether an executive order from the governor could accomplish the same thing.

"We've got lawyers looking at that right now," she says. "We found language in state law that would appear to give the governor the authority to create something quite similar to the structure we were looking for through legislation."

All states are required to offer the online market places by 2014 under the federal health care overhaul. Roberts says Rhode Island won't qualify for the next round of government funding unless it creates a group to design the health insurance exchange by September.

She expects the governor to issue an executive order on the topic within the next three to four weeks.

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