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Update: Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange

November 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.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2012 1:37 pm

    Will Medical Marijuana be covered !

  2. December 13, 2012 3:33 pm

    The Health Benefits Exchange itself isn’t a health insurance plan, but the exchange’s creators say they plan to negotiate on behalf of Rhode Islanders for better plans and options. Whether any of those plans will cover medical marijuana is unknown. I think it’s not likely to be covered any time soon as the federal government and states are still working out where they stand on marijuana’s legalization and use.


  1. RI submits health insurance exchange “blueprint” « The Pulse: health care in RI

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