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Zane Benefits Publishes New Information on Rhode Island Health Insurance Exchange
Date:5/13/2013

nsurance Exchange

According to Zane Benefits’ website, the Rhode Island Health Insurance Exchange, called Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange, will aim to connect residents and small businesses to affordable health insurance. The Exchange will give individuals and small businesses online and in-person access to compare health insurance options and learn if they qualify for the tax credits/subsidies or public health insurance programs.

According to message from Governor Lincoln Chafee, "On behalf of employers, the Exchange will be actively negotiating with health insurance companies to develop new and innovative insurance products. In addition, it will offer easy comparisons, access to tax credits for qualifying businesses, as well as new ways to buy insurance that provide value to employers. The Health Benefits Exchange will push to make insurance choices clearer and costs more affordable and predictable."

According to Zane Benefits’ website, the Small Business Health Options Program ("SHOP" Exchange) will also be up and running for October, according to a statement by Exchange Executive Director Christie Ferguson in a recent Rhode Island Public Radio article. " 'SHOP is on schedule and we’re going to have employee choice in Rhode Island. And we’re going to be one of the only states in the country to do that for small businesses,' said Ferguson". This comes after the federal government has delayed the requirement for the SHOP to offer the "employee choice" option until 2015.

There are approximately 100,900 uninsured Rhode Island non-elderly residents (12%). Of these, healthcare.gov estimates that 91,380 (91%) may qualify for either tax credits to purchase coverage in the Exchange or for Medicaid if Rhode Island participates in the Medicaid expansion.

The Exchange is currently building the online portal and has hired a vendor. The Exchange is scheduled to open to consumers Octo
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