Update: Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange

Nov 30, 2012

Perhaps you’ve been wondering where things stand with Rhode Island’s efforts to build its own online health insurance marketplace?

Wonder no more! I joined our All Things Considered host Dave Fallon in the studio yesterday to give an update on the exchange. That’s because I got the chance to catch up with Christy Ferguson, who heads the group that’s planning and developing the exchange, and wanted to share what I learned.

Here’s a link to listen to that conversation.

Here are a few key takeaways if you don’t have time to listen:

  • The exchange will operate as kind of a gateway for Rhode Islanders seeking health insurance, in particular those who don’t have any, can’t afford it, or whose small employer has given them the flexibility to seek a health plan on their own.
  • It should be up and running – meaning you can sign up – by November 2013.
  • The exchange’s developers are negotiating with Rhode Island’s four major health plan providers to develop a variety of plans that meet Rhode Islanders’ range of needs and budgets.
  • I’m told that, ultimately, the exchange will provide Rhode Islanders with more flexibility when choosing a health plan.