Michigan lawmakers are reviewing a report on the state’s progress in creating a healthcare benefits exchange in partnership with the federal government.
The exchange is expected to help 500,000 state residents shop for and purchase health insurance, The Associated Press reports.
The federal government will be the primary operator of the healthcare marketplace and will run the website and the call center while the state oversees the project and hires customer assistance professionals to help residents use the exchange.
Michigan legislators are considering whether to approve a $31 million federal funding grant to run the exchange. The money has already been granted by Washington, but it must be approved by Michigan lawmakers, who already rejected federal funding for a state-run marketplace last year.
Chris Priest, one of the project’s leaders, told a House budget committee the funding is necessary to meet the exchange’s technology needs.
“We are still going to get calls,” Priest said, according to The AP. “People are going to be coming to the state with questions. That is an administrative cost.”
Spending the grant would prevent Michigan from having to seek funding from other areas of its funding, he added.