Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford recently returned from a national meeting that focused on the myriad of changes that states will have to implement as a result of health care reform.
Confusion, changes and opportunity best sum up Bradford’s interview with reporter Kelly MacNeil of our content partner, KUAR FM 89 News.
Bradford tells MacNeil that there are many questions that will need to be answered by regulations and interpretation from the federal government in order to full enact the new law’s changes.
Setting up Arkansas’ insurance exchange by 2014 will be a top priority and will likely cause the need for some changes to state law.
"We can make those local changes. We can improve the coverage," Bradford said. "But we will have a basic amount of required coverage in all the state. That would be a minimum, so to speak. And we would probably go with the minimums at first, because cost is an issue."
Bradford also tells MacNeil that he hopes the new law will create more competition in Arkansas among health insurance carriers.
"It certainly might, because we would open the exchange to numbers of companies, as long as they had the capacity to pay the consumers’ claims. And that would hopefully bring more players in," he added.
Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield is the dominant insurance carrier in state with as much as 75% of the market share, according to the American Medical Association.
You can read and listen to more of MacNeil’s interview with Bradford on the KUAR web site at this link.