Pennsylvania moves to take over health insurance exchange

(Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

Pennsylvania says it can cut health insurance costs by taking over the online exchange that's been operated by the federal government for individual Affordable Care Act policies since it began in 2014.

New legislation sponsored by the Republican and Democratic floor leaders in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives would create an authority to operate a state-based exchange.

A House committee vote is expected Wednesday.

Under the bill, Pennsylvania could apply for federal reinsurance funding to help pay for high-cost claims. The Kaiser Family Foundation says seven other states have taken that step and state officials project that it'll reduce premiums by 5% to 10% for more than 400,000 consumers.

Seventeen states operate their own exchanges, although five rely on the federal government for certain services, such as eligibility and enrollment.