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NC deadline extended for online insurance market

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012

North Carolina lawmakers started work in 2011 on creating an exchange, but progress stalled as Republican leaders waited to see if the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. The court cleared the law in June, days before lawmakers wrapped up their two-year session.

After President Barack Obama was re-elected this week, North Carolina was among dozens of states in a last-minute scramble to produce a blueprint for a statewide exchange where households and small businesses will shop for private coverage. GOP governors in Virginia and Georgia have indicated they'll default to Washington to set up the market in their states.

The Obama administration is also offering a partnership option in which states not fully prepared to run one of the new markets will run some functions and Washington others.

That's likely to be North Carolina's route until the General Assembly returns to Raleigh next year and hashes out what an insurance exchange would look like, said Adam Linker, a policy analyst with the Health Access Coalition, part of the liberal-leaning North Carolina Justice Center.

"They've sort of allowed this hybrid until states can meet and think about what kind of exchange they want," Linker said. "The idea is you can do that and then sort of transition to a state based exchange."

Although the Legislature did not pass legislation creating an exchange, it did state its intent to create one and directed the state Insurance Department and DHHS to keep working on the details.


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