HealthSource RI insurance marketplace seeking $14.4M from state for coming budget year


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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The director of Rhode Island's health insurance marketplace is seeking $14.4 million from the state for the coming fiscal year while also proposing several long-term funding mechanisms.

Christine Ferguson of HealthSource RI submitted the budget request to Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who leaves office in January. HealthSource expects to use some leftover federal funding as well.

Rhode Island is among the state-based exchanges that are supposed to be financially self-sufficient beginning in January, but HealthSource has not identified a funding source. Some lawmakers, concerned about cost, have suggested abandoning local control and shifting to the federal exchange.

Ferguson suggested combining approaches, including a broad-based assessment on all health plans, the sale of HealthSource products, website advertising and possibly new federal grants.

She says the state has benefited from the exchange already.

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