State lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday about a proposed tax on health insurance to pay for the state’s online health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI.
Federal Obamacare money covered the startup cost of HealthSource RI – the state’s marketplace for individual and small business insurance plans. But now Rhode Island must come up with the money to keep it going, or turn it over to the feds. Gov. Gina Raimondo’s budget proposal includes a tax on every individual and small business health plan – whether bought on the exchange or not – to pay for HealthSource RI.
The amount of that tax would vary but would likely be a single digit percentage of the premium.
Insurers and business groups have spoken against the tax, saying it would not be levied fairly. Advocacy organizations like Kids Count approve of the plan because it would help keep the exchange under local control.