By Richard Asinof
WASHINGTON – Christine Ferguson, the director of the R.I. Health Benefits Exchange, testified on Feb. 14 before a Senate Finance Committee hearing billed as a progress report on health insurance exchanges.
She was asked to testify because Rhode Island has chosen to build its own exchange rather than use the federal mechanism. About half of the states have made the choice nto to build their own exchanges, but to have the federal government run such exchanges.
In her testimony, Ferguson said that the exchange would serve as “a robust marketplace for all Rhode Islanders to identify health insurance coverage options and, for those eligible, to purchase coverage.”
Ferguson will also be promoting the exchange’s potential at the Feb. 28 meeting of the Health Insurance Small Business Task Force at Temple Emanuel in Providence.
Ferguson is also scheduled to talk at the March 22 breakfast meeting hosted by the Rhode Island Business Group on Health at the Providence Marriott, as part of an legislative and advocacy gathering called “2013:The year of the exchange.”