N.J. panel to consider establishing health insurance exchange

A New Jersey Senate Committee will consider legislation today to create a health insurance exchange in the state.

The exchange is intended to help residents and small businesses purchase insurance when federal regulations make health-care coverage mandatory starting in 2014.

Ev Liebman of AARP New Jersey favors a model that would establish minimum state requirements for selecting and certifying plans.

“Given the high cost and the amount of commerce that’s actually going to flow through the exchange — which will be billions of dollars — it’s money well spent to make sure that it operates in the best interest of consumers and small businesses who will be purchasing through the exchange,” she said.

Business groups say that approach would add to bureaucracy and increase insurance costs. They prefer that all insurers with plans that meet the federal standards be allowed to compete for customers.

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