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OR bill would allow healthcare 'exchanges'



Oregon soon may join the ranks of states with electronic marketplaces, known as "exchanges," that will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to shop for health insurance coverage and compare benefits. Senate Bill 99 was cleared last week by the Senate Health Care Committee for a vote of the full Senate. It would set up a public corporation with a seven-member board appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate to decide standards for commercial plans. Also on the board will be the directors or designees of the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Consumer and Business Services, which regulates insurance in Oregon. Then about 150,000 individuals and 65,000 small businesses—for an overall total of 350,000 Oregonians—can choose to enroll and find out if they qualify for federal tax credits made available under the healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year.


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