Chair Named to ARK Healthcare Exchange Board

Published 09/04 2013 07:31AM

Updated 09/04 2013 08:27AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board of Directors named an interim chairman and selected a website name during its first meeting Monday in Little Rock.

The board is tasked with deciding whether to pursue a state run health insurance marketplace in 2015, continue with a state-federal partnership or revert to a federal run exchange.

Arkansas is one of seven states currently pursuing the state-federal partnership model.

The board is compromised of nine members and a representative from the Arkansas Insurance Department and the Department of Human Services.

The nine members were appointed three each from the governor, speaker of the house, and senate president pro tempore.

During the meeting Monday the board named Sherrill Wise as interim chairman. Wise, appointed to the board by state senator Michael Lamoureux, R- Russellville, serves as a vice president for Dillards Inc.

The board also voted to secure the domain for a future website.

Lamoureux says the new board faces the same challenges any start-up organization would.

"Probably most important is personnel like hiring staff and getting going," Lamoureux says. "But even down to the smallest things like renting office space, they have to do all those type of things. They're starting from scratch."

The board meets again Sept. 12 and 20.

Consumers lacking coverage can begin signing up on the health insurance marketplace on Oct. 1.

(story contributed by KARK, Little Rock)

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