HealthSource head: New marketplace offers choice

The director of Rhode Island's new health insurance marketplace is encouraging small businesses to buy coverage through the agency, saying it will allow them to offer workers more choice.

HealthSource RI Director Christine Ferguson said Wednesday at a summit on the so-called health exchange that Rhode Island is heavily emphasizing the enrollment of small businesses. About half of the state's 30,000 small businesses currently offer health coverage.

Ferguson is promoting an option under which companies choose a contribution level, rather than a single plan. Employees can then choose from among multiple plans.

HealthSource RI is part of the federal health care overhaul. It opens for enrollment Oct. 1.

Some small businesses will be eligible for federal tax credits for the first two years the exchange is in operation.