Idaho State Insurance Director Bill Deal is presenting the draft legislation for a state health insurance exchange to the Legislature's joint Health Care Task Force; the room's about a third full, with lots of lobbyists in attendance. The nine-page bill includes an emergency clause, making it effective upon passage.
Among the questions from the lawmakers: Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, noted that federal law says a majority of the board overseeing the exchange can't come from the insurance industry. With the legislation specifying three carriers and three producers on the board, he said, that means the two lawmakers, who would be appointed to the board by the speaker and Senate president pro-tem, couldn't be “associated with the insurance industry,” he said. Deal confirmed that, saying, “Correct.”
The board would have 13 members, 11 of them voting. Nine would be appointed by the governor, with confirmation from the Senate. Those would include three representing different health carriers; two representing producers; one representing “individual consumer interests;” and three representing employers of varying sizes. The two non-voting members would be the directors of the state departments of Insurance and Health & Welfare.