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Idaho gets ok for health insurance exchange

January 4, 2013
Idaho received an important endorsement to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s determination to create a state-based health insurance exchange yesterday. The federal Health and Human Services Department announced it had given conditional approval for Idaho to create a state exchange.

The news was greeted enthusiastically by the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance, a coalition of more than 400 businesses, individuals and trade associations that has been advocating for the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange. The exchanges act as online marketplaces for consumers to purchase health insurance products.

“Idaho has the tools and the talent to serve its people best, and that’s why a state-based exchange will work for our state,” said Fernando Veloz, Chief Financial Officer, MS Administrative Services, Inc., a member of the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance. “It’s time for Idaho to get on with the business of managing its health insurance industry for the citizens and businesses of Idaho.”

Governor Otter has directed Idaho to take advantage of the opportunity to build a state-based exchange and keep the federal government from installing a new bureaucracy in the state. Under federal health reform law, states can either create their own exchange or have one built and operated for them by the federal government. After months of study, a working group created by Governor Otter endorsed a state-based insurance exchange to help consumers navigate health insurance purchasing choices.

To date, 20 states including the District of Columbia have been conditionally approved to partially or fully run their marketplaces. Recent guidance from the federal government about the health insurance exchanges makes clear that the state-based health insurance exchanges will be less costly to consumers and to the state than a federally-managed health insurance exchange.

Governor Otter’s recommendation now goes before the Idaho Legislature for their review and approval.

The Idaho Health Exchange Alliance was formed out of the belief that Idaho is best served by a state-based exchange, one built by and managed for Idahoans, not a one-size-fits-all exchange that would be installed by the federal government. 

For more information on the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance or to join the group, please visit
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