NC to build state-federal online insurance market

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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However, McCrory said in a statement that Perdue's decision leaves flexibility for the future.

The hybrid system can be changed later to all-state or all-federal management.

"This decision allows him (McCrory) the opportunity to then, in his own good time, make a decision that will be permanent for the state," Perdue said.

One goal of the Obama administration's health care overhaul is reducing the number of state residents under age 65 who were without health insurance in 2010. That number stood at 1.6 million, according to the latest estimate by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. About 700,000 North Carolinians with limited or no insurance would buy coverage through the exchange in 2014, a consultant reported last year.

The law also provides federal funds to cover most of the early costs of expanding Medicaid to cover these uninsured families. McCrory and the GOP-controlled Legislature will have to decide whether to proceed and whether the state can afford its future share of the costs, state Health and Human Services Secretary Al Delia said.

North Carolina also is asking the federal government for $73.5 million to help defray the cost of establishing an online exchange, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said. State officials on Thursday were finalizing a grant application seeking money to help the state insurance agency with management and consumer assistance costs, and the Department of Health and Human Services with IT costs, Goodwin said.

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Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

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