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How will RI create this exchange? UPDATE

July 13, 2011

As I mentioned earlier, Rhode Island wasn’t able to pass legislation to set up the state’s health insurance exchange, so now it’s trying to do the same thing with an executive order.

The problem is, state law doesn’t allow Governor Lincoln Chafee to create a “public corporation” to design the exchange.  So now the state has to find another governing body to oversee the creation of the online marketplace for health insurance.

According to this PowerPoint from the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission, this is what the governor has the authority to do-

  1. Assign Exchange responsibility to HEALTH [The RI  Department of Health]
  2. Assign responsibility to a new division in HEALTH or another executive branch department.
  3. Instruct HEALTH to delegate responsibility to a not‐for‐profit

PBN reports that some advocates are pulling for the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner to oversee the exchange. That would be under option #2.

But Chris Koller, the Health Insurance Commissioner, isn’t gunning for that option. He told me he hasn’t advocated for taking on the exchange or even brought it up.

The Executive Committee of the RI Healthcare Reform Commission is meeting on Monday to discuss public feedback on the options and mull over a recommendation for the governor.

Who do you think should oversee the creation of RI’s health insurance exchange?

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