Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 4:33 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2012

State plans health care exchange




JUNEAU — The state of Alaska is planning to sign a contract with a Boston-based firm to help design a health insurance exchange.

An exchange is a marketplace for coverage options. Under the federal health care law, the government could step in and establish exchanges in states where none exist. Gov. Sean Parnell, who is challenging the constitutionality of the law, last year refused federal funds for an exchange. The state is moving ahead, for now, on its own.

Josh Applebee, deputy director for health care policy for Alaska's health department, says states have until next January to certify that they're able to establish an exchange. The state plans to sign a contract with Public Consulting Group to evaluate such things as the cost of the exchange and its impact on the market.

— The Associated Press

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