Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina won't immediately strike out on its own to create a health insurance exchange, but it won't let the federal government run one all on its own either.
Instead, Gov. Bev Perdue said Thursday that the state would pursue a joint state-federal partnership that will create the health insurance market envisioned under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Perdue said she spoke about the decision with Pat McCrory, who will take over as chief executive in January. She would not characterize his reaction.
"It preserves their ability, whatever their choices will be as an administration, to move toward that decision fairly quickly or whenever they decide the time is right," Perdue said.
However, she added, it would be folly to let the federal government impose its off-the-shelf exchange on North Carolina.
"There would be nothing worse for NC than to have a federal exchange," she said.
Perdue sent a letter asking for grant money to help implement the exchange today, and will make North Carolina's choice with regard to the partnership Friday.
State DHHS Sec. Al Delia said Thursday it was unclear what parts of the exchange the state would tailor to its own needs. However, in an interview last week he said that North Carolina might choose to use its own application system or set its own rules for plans that could be offered on the exchange.