The president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber announced Friday that the nonpartisan business advocacy organization will offer private health insurance and benefits exchange in the wake of what the state Commerce called the "amount of uncertainty around how the Affordable Care Act will impact companies and how the state is implementing changes outlined in the federal reform."
The new option allows local companies to offer employees access to a one-stop, online marketplace to shop for health insurance through CieloStar -- a nationwide healthcare payment and benefit technology company formerly known as OutsourceOne.
Earlier this month, federally operated insurance marketplace where people can shop for private health insurance online or over the telephone -- a key part of the health care overhaul law -- was launched.
North Carolina's marketplace is being run by the federal government because the state's Republican leaders rejected a role in it.
The marketplace is designed for individuals and small business to make an apples-to-apples comparison of plans.
In the meantime, the North Carolina Chamber and CieloStar are currently in discussions with a number of carriers in an effort to offer a variety of insurance plans for local consumers to choose from.
Consumers can learn more about the planned health care exchange at the North Carolina Chamber's Health Care Conference on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Chapel Hill.
Most people will be required to have insurance by March 31 or pay a penalty collected by the Internal Revenue Service.