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State considers setting up hybrid insurance exchange

The deadline is just days away for Ohio to announce whether it will begin plans for a state-based health insurance exchange in compliance with the President's Affordable Care Act.  Ohio's Republican lieutenant governor insists the new federal health care law is flawed, but she says the state is moving forward with the overhaul. States that can't or won't set up these new insurance exchanges will have theirs run by Washington.  Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also heads the states insurance department, says Ohio's goal would be to let the federal government run the exchange, while the state keeps it's authority to regulate health plans.  The president of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, Amy Rohling McGee, says several states are considering similar set-ups.

Rohling McGee: the hybrid approach would offer the state the opportunity to still retain the plan management function of the exchange, or the consumer assistance functions of the state, or both.  There are states that have seen value in having the state running this;  more control within the state over the insurance markets and just how the exchange is designed.

While the deadline to declare plans is this Friday, president Obama recently announced that states have until December 14th to submit the details of their plans.  An estimated 12 million people are expected to get insurance through the exchanges.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.