Former Arkansas lawmaker to lead state’s health exchange

Former Arkansas lawmaker to lead state’s health exchange

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former lawmaker who opposed the creation of Arkansas' health insurance exchange has been hired as the interim director of the state agency that oversees the marketplace.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that one of Nate Bell's first moves as the head of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace was to urge members of a legislative committee to delay approving a bill that would fold the agency into the state Department of Insurance.

Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway sponsored the bill and is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Insurance and Commerce. He says he has concerns about oversight and marketplace finance.

Bell says he wants time to find an alternative that would protect the independence of the marketplace and address lawmakers' concerns.

The committee rejected the bill Tuesday.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com