LITTLE ROCK — A state Senator filed a bill Wednesday to prohibit Arkansas from establishing a state-run health insurance exchange.

LITTLE ROCK — A state Senator filed a bill Wednesday to prohibit Arkansas from establishing a state-run health insurance exchange.


Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, filed Senate Bill 343 as a "shell" bill, with the details to be added later, but the bill states that its purpose is to prohibit a state-run exchange in Arkansas.


Arkansas currently operates its exchange in partnership with the federal government. Legislation enacted in 2013 created the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Board, which is charged with transitioning the state to a state-run exchange.


In September, the board voted to to seek to set up a state-run exchange for small businesses in 2015 and a state-run exchange for individuals in 2016. Coverage for small business would begin in 2016 and coverage for individuals would start in 2017.


A spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not immediately return a call Wednesday afternoon seeking comment. Hutchinson is Hendren’s uncle.