Rhode Island took advantage of millions in federal dollars to build and launch its own health insurance exchange. Now as that federal money is about to run out, HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson says she’s got a plan for the 2015 fiscal year, which starts this July.
“We’re working with the federal government on being able to extend the funds," said Ferguson. "In 2016, the state fiscal year of 2016, which starts July of 2015, we will have had to make a decision about whether or not this is going to be funded through revenues, whether it’s going to be funded through appropriation, and what the cost is going to be.”
At issue is whether the state will find money in its coffers to foot the $23 million dollar bill to keep the exchange going, or whether taxes on health insurance premiums or another revenue source might pay for it. Legislation is pending in the Rhode Island general assembly now concerning whether to fund the exchange.