Eye On Boise

Insurance exchange working group sets another meeting this month, to 'work as fast as we can'

Bill Deal, center, in dark suit, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, speaks Thursday at the first meeting of the governor's Health Insurance Exchange Working Group, which he chairs. At right is Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston; second from left is Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. (Betsy Russell)
Bill Deal, center, in dark suit, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, speaks Thursday at the first meeting of the governor's Health Insurance Exchange Working Group, which he chairs. At right is Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston; second from left is Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. (Betsy Russell)

After hours of presentations, including extensive information about federal requirements and about what other states are doing, the governor's Health Insurance  Exchange Working Group has wrapped up its first meeting and set another for late August, likely the 29th or 30th. "We really want to move forward with this committee and get those recommendations to the governor as soon as we can," said working group Chairman Bill Deal, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance.

Among the key points covered today: If Idaho were to do nothing or fail to meet the federal government's mid-November deadline to decide what it'll do on a health insurance exchange, it'll get a federally run exchange. One mid-way step, if the state isn't in a position to meet the deadline, is to propose a partnership in which the feds would facilitate the exchange, but the state would take on certain duties, possibly as a transition toward a fully state-run exchange in a future year.

"I hope this meeting today was of benefit to you to get started with this," Deal told the working group. The group is dividing up a list of 14 questions to research in the weeks before its next meeting. Said Deal, "We're going to move as fast as we can."




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Betsy Z. Russell




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