Rhode Island health insurance exchange
Hundreds of people enrolling each week in HealthSource RI
By Louise Norris
November 22, 2013
On November 12, HealthSource RI announced that it had enrolled a total of 4,405 people in individual coverage between October 1 and November 2. The majority (3,213) are Medicaid eligible, but it was expected that initial enrollment would be Medicaid-heavy across the country. The remaining 1,192 enrollees in HealthSource RI selected private plans. In addition, 471 small employers initiated applications in the HealthSource RI SHOP exchange in the first month of enrollment. Interest and traffic remain brisk: In the exchange’s seventh week, from Nov 3 to Nov 9, more than 2000 accounts were created and 761 applications were completed.
Rates in Rhode Island are a little higher than the national average. In RI, the lowest cost bronze plan averages $264/month, versus a national average of $249. Three carriers are offering a total of 12 plans in HealthSource RI:
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
- United HealthCare
- Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.
Tufts Health Plan has expressed its intention to participate in the exchange in 2015.
RI has joined several other states in rejecting President Obama’s mid-November policy cancellation “fix” that would have allowed existing plans to extend into 2014. Insureds in RI who have received cancellation notices have until December 15 to select a new plan that will be effective January 1.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee established the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange through an executive order in 2011. The state submitted a blueprint for a state-run exchange to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and received conditional approval in December 2012. The state exchange was re-branded as Health Source RI in July 2013.
Chafee’s executive order established the exchange with the executive branch of state government and set up a 13-member board of directors. The board receives input from the Expert Advisory Committee (which includes representatives of insurance brokers, insurers and medical providers) and the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission (which includes more than 200 stakeholders). The Commission was established by Chafee in early 2011 and charged with implementing health care reform in the state. The Commission includes multiple workgroups that study and provide recommendations on various aspects of exchange operations.
According to the state about 126,000 people in Rhode Island are uninsured — approximately 12 percent of the population. Between policies available on the exchange and through increased Medicaid enrollment, the state hopes to achieve near universal coverage. However, the state has not set a target date for reaching that goal.
Contact the Rhode Island exchange
Health Source RI
More Rhode Island health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Rhode Island
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Rhode Island’s
progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Health Care Advocate, Office of the Attorney General
Serves all consumer and health care professionals with health-related problems.
Rhode Island Consumer Assistance Program
Assists people insured by private health plans, Medicaid, or other plans in resolving problems pertaining to their health coverage; assists uninsured residents with access to care.
(401) 462-9520 / email@example.com