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Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange Announces Next Step in Development

Blueprint submitted to the federal government provides detailed progress report, articulates decision to run a state-based Exchange

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced the submission of a detailed progress report on the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange, called the Exchange Blueprint, to the federal government. The health benefits exchange is an online marketplace where all Rhode Islanders will be able to easily compare and purchase healthcare coverage.

"The Blueprint lays out the initial steps in our plan to improve the health of Rhode Islanders, modernize our health care system, improve our state's technical infrastructure, and strengthen the economy," said Governor Chafee. "There is still much work to be accomplished, yet our progress to date reflects the urgency under which we are working as a state to ensure access to affordable healthcare for all Rhode Island families and small businesses."

The Blueprint is a compilation of documents explaining various aspects of ongoing Exchange development as required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be submitted by the deadline of December 14, 2012. Blueprint submission is one step of many in Rhode Island's initiative to establish a state-based exchange that will eventually meet all federal requirements, as well as fulfill the mission outlined in the Governor's Executive Order and the Exchange Advisory Board's strategic plan.

"Rhode Island has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation for decades, and our state is one of only a handful that has been able to meet this important deadline," said Exchange Director Christine Ferguson. "Reaching this milestone is significant in that it brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal of achieving better health outcomes for all Rhode Islanders," she said.

Under the Affordable Care Act, HHS must approve or conditionally approve state-based Exchanges by Jan. 1, 2013, for operation in 2014. More information about the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange is available at

About the RI Health Benefits Exchange:

The Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange will serve as a robust resource for Rhode Islanders and Rhode Island businesses to learn about and easily compare the quality and affordability of their health insurance options, enroll in coverage and, if eligible, access subsidies for coverage.

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