Advertise Here

Eye On Boise

Gov’s chief of staff on exchange: ‘If we can save Idahoans money, we should’

David Hensley, chief of staff to Gov. Butch Otter, told the Senate Commerce Committee this afternoon that the cost to build and set up a state-based health insurance exchange like the one Otter is proposing is about $20 million, and there is a federal grant for $20 million available to the proposed exchange board to do that. Then, the estimate is that the annual operating cost would be about $10 million. “From our standpoint, that can be achieved through a per-member, per-month fee or a premium charge,” Hensley said, “and if you think about 177,000 people using this exchange … you can see that we could have a per-member, per-month fee of $4.80 to cover the cost of operating the exchange on an annual basis. Now, that works out to about $58 per year.”

By contrast, he said, the federal government has informed Idaho that if the state goes with a federally operated exchange, “They believe they will generate $28 million a year from a 3.5 percent premium tax, a premium fee, on the same 177,000 people who participate in the exchange, with an average premium on an annual basis of $4,650. Doing the math, that works out to a per-member, per-month fee of about $13.55.”

Said Hensley, “At the end of the day, if we can save Idahoans money, which we believe we can, by operating this in a more efficient manner, we should.”

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

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

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Eye On Boise.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here