Health Marketplace oversight panel set


LITTLE ROCK — The House speaker Monday completed appointments to a legislative committee that will oversee operation of the state’s health insurance exchange.

Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, named six House members to the 12-member panel: Reps. Eddie Armstrong, D-North Little Rock, John Burris, R-Harrison, Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, Sue Scott, R-Rogers, and Jeffrey Wardlaw, D-Warren.

Established by Act 1500 of this year, the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Legislative Oversight Committee will study matters pertaining to the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and may request reports pertaining to the operations, programs, or finances of the marketplace.

Members will meet quarterly upon the joint call of the co-chairs and submit an annual report by Dec. 15 of each year to the General Assembly of its analysis and findings.

Last month, Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux named six senators to the panel: Sens. Paul Bookout, D-Jonesboro, Ronald Caldwell, R-Wynne, Linda Chesterfield, D-Little Rock, Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, Jason Rapert, R-Conway, and David Sanders, R-Little Rock.

Gillam and Sanders will co-chair the oversight committee.

Earlier this year, the legislative leaders and Gov. Mike Beebe each appointed three members each to the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Every state is required under the federal Affordable Care Act to have a marketplace, or insurance exchange, where people and small businesses can shop for health insurance plans that suit their needs. Enrollment is to begin Oct. 1, and coverage is to begin Jan. 1.