The head of Nebraska's Department of Insurance says as many as 100,000 people would need to enroll in a state-based health exchange before the program could sustain itself.
Department Director Bruce Ramge told a legislative panel Friday that 83,000 to 100,000 Nebraskans would need to join the exchange to comply with the federal health care overhaul. The programs have to become self-supporting by 2016.
The state-based exchange is one of four options Nebraska is considering. States also can participate in federal or regional exchanges, or a state-federal partnership.
Ramge says insurance officials are still struggling with unanswered questions about the essential health benefits required, which will determine costs.
About 205,000 Nebraskans are uninsured, or 12 percent of the population, according to the most recent available data.