North Carolina announced recently that it would pursue a state partnership health benefits exchange. Exchanges, for the uninitiated, are online marketplaces where people can easily compare insurance plans and get premium subsidies to purchase coverage. The exchange will also have in-person assistance for the less computer savvy and maintain a toll free hotline.
Under a state partnership North Carolina will retain some say over how the exchange is run in our state. To help get the exchange started the federal government today granted the state $74 million.
This money will help boost our consumer assistance program and it will help us establish an information technology infrastructure to support the state partnership exchange. This money also means more jobs will be created as we seek to build a better health care system.