The health insurance department seizes the Arkansas market

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The Arkansas health insurance market has become an integral part of the state's health insurance department after the Asa Hutchinson government signed a law dissolving the market as that separate entity.
The state legislature created the insurance market in 2013.
The Arkansas market used funding from a $ 99.99 million federal grant in 2015 to set up exchanges that consumers and small businesses would use in place of healthcare.gov. The market also approved health plans provided in Arkansas by healthcare.gov and helped consumers register.
The bill will come into effect on Friday, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Governor Hutchinson signed a law last month transferring control of the state's health insurance purse to the Arkansas Health Insurance Department. The measure provided for all funds and other assets in the market to be transferred to the department.
Senator Jason Rapert, who sponsored the legislation, said that he expects additional funds from the market and that the department does not need to be transferred to the general budget of the revenues of the government. l & # 39; State.

The ministry will keep the consumer-driven market website, which had already been amended on Thursday to describe the market as a division of the insurance department.
Ryan James, a spokesman for the insurance department, said most consumers should notice no difference.
The measure allows for the transfer of all contracts from the market to the insurance department, which can renegotiate them. Once the contracts expire, the department will comply with public procurement rules to reassign the contracts, said James.
According to the Insurance Department, 58,915 Arkans are currently enrolled in individual programs offered through healthcare.gov as of March 1st.
Kerr said his department could assume market functions at a cost not exceeding $ 500,000 per year.
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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com