Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 10, 2012

W.Va. plans health exchange partnership with feds

Staff Writer
Associated Press

CHARLESTON — West Virginia tentatively plans to run a health insurance exchange as a partner with the federal government.

State officials told lawmakers on Monday that this option appears best under the federal health care overhaul.

An exchange is supposed to allow individuals and small businesses to combine their buying power so they can obtain coverage from private insurers.

States have until Friday to decide whether to run their own exchanges. At least 16 states and Washington, D.C., have chosen that option. Another 18 want the federal government to run theirs for them. At least six other states are choosing the partnership model.

Republican legislators remain opposed to the federal overhaul. They questioned the exchange’s cost to West Virginia. Other lawmakers believe a state-based exchange would allow more control over its policies.