CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia insurance officials told lawmakers Tuesday that partnering with the federal government is the state's best option for a new health coverage marketplace, but also cautioned that success is far from certain.

Just nine lawmakers took part in the two-hour interim study meeting to field questions about the planned health insurance exchange. Those legislators raised concerns about its potential costs and whether it would reach enough of the 250,000 state residents without coverage.

With states facing a Friday reporting deadline, Insurance Commissioner Michael Riley said West Virginia tentatively plans to pursue a partnership to run the exchange called for by the federal health care overhaul. Of the other options, Riley said an exchange run solely by the state would prove too costly, while leaving it entirely to federal officials would give the state little say regarding policy and regulations.

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