Alaska won’t implement federal health overhaul
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said he will not apply for federal funds to implement a state health insurance exchange because a Florida judge ruled the health reform law unconstitutional. Instead, the state Division of Insurance is exploring developing a health insurance exchange without federal dollars, including software applications and data that could be used to create an online clearinghouse on health plan options in Alaska, according to the governor’s office. “The federal government’s ‘one size fits all’ healthcare mandates may have ended with the Florida court decision, but we will continue working to reshape our healthcare system to fit the unique needs of Alaskans,” Parnell said in a news release. Parnell also said the state Department of Health and Social Services will collaborate with providers on chroniccare management and primary-care access, and work to improve telemedicine and electronic health records. Under the federal reform law, states are required to have health insurance exchanges operational by 2014, or the HHS will create them.