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NE governor chooses federal exchange, cites costs and control

This month, Nebraska governor Dave Heineman announced his decision to let the federal government run the state’s benefits exchange in 2014.

Nebraska is among 16 other states that defaulted to a federal system, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation. Heineman sited exchange costs and government control as the primary factors that influenced his decision.

Officials calculated a state-run system would cost $646 million over the next eight years, while the cost of participating in a federal exchange would be $176 million, according to The Omaha World Herald.

Meanwhile, Heineman challenged the common assumption many governors have about the amount of control each state would have over its own exchange.

“A state exchange is nothing more than the state administrating the Affordable Care Act with all of the important and critical decisions made by the federal government,” he told the newspaper.

Many governors who have opted for or are considering the federal exchange are concerned with the White House administration’s ability to serve each state appropriately. For Nebraska, one of the many topics that must be addressed is how an internet-based exchange will serve workers in rural areas.

Seventeen states so far have opted for their own exchange and 6 have chosen a hybrid state and federal exchange. The remaining undecided governors have until December 14 to announce their decision.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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