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Eye On Boise

Deal: Some health insurance reforms already have taken effect in Idaho

Some provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act already have taken effect in Idaho, state Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal reported to lawmakers on the Health Care Task Force this morning. “Most of them took place in September 2010,” he said, including banning pre-existing condition exclusions for people age 19 and under; removal of lifetime benefit caps; and phaseout of certain limits within policies. The ban on pre-existing condition exclusions will extend to all policies in 2014, he said. Other changes also were made in underwriting, rating and bands. “All of these changes have been implemented. They were implemented by federal law,” Deal said. “And I think that as far as the state is concerned, that Idaho is going to need to take a look and see if those changes in coverages be put into Idaho law.”

Deal noted that federal law gives states authority to regulate insurance. Said Deal, “It is recommended by the Department of Insurance, under Title 41, Idaho Code, that we amend those sections necessary to give the state of Idaho the authority to regulate with these new implemented changes in coverages.”

Deal is chairing the governor's working group on health insurance exchanges; it will hold its first meeting on Aug. 2, he said.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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