LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — During an afternoon meeting at the capitol Thursday, Governor Asa Hutchinson — explaining why he’s pushing pause on a key tenant of health care reform in the state. Under the Private Option, passed in 2013, Arkansas received a $90 million federal grant to establish a state based, online health insurance marketplace where individuals can shop and compare plans.
“We’re not as a state convinced that’s going to be needed in the direction that we go,” Hutchinson said.
The state is currently using a federal version of the exchange through which 62,000 Arkansans are getting coverage.
“There’s less risk going with the exchange that we know rather than an exchange we don’t know,” he said.
Still, the governor says the state will continue working on an online marketplace for businesses which set to be functional next year.
Arkansas’s move would put the state in a category with Utah. Utah operates its own Small Business Health Options Program, Avenue H, with the federal government operating the state’s exchange for individual health plans.
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