LITTLE ROCK – Senator Jason Rapert has been appointed chairman of the newly-created Health Insurance Marketplace Oversight Subcommittee.

The subcommittee is a part of the Legislative Council, the body of lawmakers that monitors the operations of state government in the interim between legislative sessions.

During the recent special session on Medicaid, legislators approved Act 4 to provide the Legislative Council with oversight authority over the marketplace. Its actions will affect the future of the marketplace and ensure the transparency of its operations.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is an integral part of Arkansas’s implementation of the national Affordable Care Act, which is undergoing revisions at the federal level.

"Washington is working on far-reaching changes to Medicaid. It is important that we monitor these changes and work hard to do what is in the best interests of Arkansans," Rapert said.

"How we implement those changes in Arkansas will be of critical importance to physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, long term care facilities, therapists, insurance companies and of course, patients," Rapert said.

Also during the special session, the legislature authorized state officials to apply for federal waivers that will allow Arkansas to hold down Medicaid costs and impose work requirements on recipients.

Rapert is chairman of the Senate Committee on Insurance and Commerce, and is a member of another panel that works on Medicaid issues - the Legislative Council’s Hospital and Medicaid Study Subcommittee.

Rapert represents Senate District 35, which includes Conway, most of Faulkner County and parts of Perry County. He is the Vice President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) which is a legislative organization comprised principally of legislators serving on state insurance and financial institutions committees around the nation.

NCOIL writes Model Laws in insurance, works to both preserve the state jurisdiction over insurance as established by the McCarran-Ferguson Act seventy years ago and to serve as an educational forum for public policy makers and interested parties.