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Health exchange choice needed to get $74 million grant, says Perdue spokeswoman

Updated: Gov. Bev Perdue faced criticism this week from Senate leader Phil Berger for her choice of a state-federal health exchange, but her office said she had to pick a plan in order for the state to be eligible for millions in federal grants.

Berger, a Republican, said the outgoing Democratic governor should have left the choice to incoming Republican governor Pat McCrory. 

States have three options for internet insurance marketplaces required under the federal law. Perdue chose the middle course so McCrory and the Republican-led legislature can pick something else if they want.

Berger said he didn't object applying for money, as long as it wasn't going to be wasted.

Health insurance agents support Perdue exchange choice

State health insurance agents and brokers say they support Gov. Bev Perdue's decision to opt for a health exchange set up as a state-federal partnership.

The Affordable Care Act requires states have internet shopping centers where people without health insurance can search for plans.

“We support the Governor’s choice to give North Carolina citizens a voice in managing their own health insurance marketplace,” says Teri Gutierrez, president of the N.C. Association of Health Underwriters. “It is critical that we make decisions that best fit the needs of both individual consumers and employers in North Carolina. We also agree with the Governor’s intent to move North Carolina towards a full state-based exchange as quickly as possible.”

States have the choice of setting up their own exchange, having the federal government run it, or working with the feds.

Perdue said she chose the middle course so imcoming governor Pat McCrory can choose to have a state-run exchange or a federally-operated exchange.

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