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Exchanges not an option for Arizona govt. workers

PHOENIX -- Arizona briefly looked at the possibility of moving state workers into health insurance exchanges when officials were examining whether to create a state exchange, said Don Hughes, Gov. Jan Brewer's health policy adviser. They quickly jettisoned the idea, and later decided the federal government would be allowed to set up an exchange in Arizona.

The state provided health insurance for about 50,000 active employees in 2011. The state is self-insured, meaning it pays for all the care. The Arizona Department of Administration spent $549 million on health care for those workers and their dependents that year. That works out to nearly $11,000 per employee.

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