If Idaho went with a federal health insurance exchange, rather than starting its own, state Insurance Director Bill Deal said as many as 2,500 Idaho insurance agents who are licensed for health and life insurance only could go out of business. “I think there would be no question that agents would probably not be needed in the exchange, using the federal concept,” Deal told lawmakers. “I think it would be a definite economic disaster from the standpoint of more unemployment,” he said. Plus, he said, “If a federal exchange would come in, likely there would be a national carrier involved in that.” Idaho companies would lose market share, he said, “which would result in a loss of premium tax.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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