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Idaho insurance exchange awards first contract, for outreach, communications

After a competitive RFP process, Idaho's new state-based health insurance exchange has awarded its first contract, a $200,000 contract with a communications team led by Gallatin Public Affairs to conduct statewide market research, create an initial Exchange website, develop the communication strategy, create educational materials for use around the state, manage media relations and develop the Exchange’s new branding. The contract will run through August 16, 2013, with the option to extend for additional scopes of work as needed. Other members of the team are Boise-based GS Strategy Group, a firm with local and national expertise in public opinion and consumer behavior research, and Burson-Marsteller, a full-service, integrated public relations firm with experience in large scale public education campaigns.

Click below for the exchange's announcement, which also includes announcements of staff members Jody Olson, director of communications and marketing; and Alberto Gonzalez, operations project manager; he's a former bureau chief at the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. The exchange is currently in the process of selecting a contractor for professional services,  including procuring additional federal grants and helping oversee development of the system enrollees will use to select coverage and determine their eligibility for federal, income-dependent subsidies.


 July 15, 2013

 

Media Contact: Jody Olson, Director of Communications and Marketing

Idaho Exchange Board Announces New Staff, Starts Outreach Efforts

BOISE, Idaho – Today, Amy Dowd, Executive Director of the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange, announced new members of the team of staff and experts who will assist in outreach and education to Idahoans about the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange that will launch this fall. 

Idaho faces a federal deadline of October 1, 2013, to have in place an online marketplace that will allow Idahoans to compare and purchase health insurance plans. Those who already have health insurance will not be required to use the Exchange, however many Idahoans will find it a useful tool to find information about health insurance and coverage options that are best for their families.

“There is still much work to be done to ensure that Idaho’s Exchange is operational by October 1, 2013, and to make Idahoans aware of the Exchange and the insurance options available to them during the open enrollment period,” said Dowd. “I am confident that the team we have assembled here in Idaho will be able to get the job done. I want to thank the Exchange Board and all of the groups and individuals that have helped thus far – this has truly been a collaborative effort by and for Idahoans and we look forward to continued collaboration in the months and years to come.”

Among the new members of the team, Jody Olson has been named director of communications and marketing. She has an extensive background in all aspects of communications, marketing and public relations, with expertise in non-profit management and marketing, as well as consumer advocacy.

Alberto Gonzalez has been named operations project manager and brings a wealth of knowledge of Idaho from his role as the former Bureau Chief in the Department of Health and Welfare. He is focusing on the consumer assistance program as well as call center operations that launch October 1, 2013.

Along with a fulltime staff, and after a highly competitive RFP process, the Exchange has hired a communications team lead by Gallatin Public Affairs to assist with outreach efforts.  Gallatin is a Northwest public affairs firm with deep roots in Idaho. Other members of the team include Boise-based GS Strategy Group, a firm with local and national expertise in public opinion and consumer behavior research, and Burson-Marsteller, a full-service, integrated public relations firm with vast experience in large scale public education campaigns.

For an initial scope of engagement, the firm has been awarded a $200,000 contract to conduct state-wide market research, create an initial Exchange website, develop the communication strategy, create educational materials for use around the state, manage media relations and develop the Exchange’s new branding. The current contract will run through August 16, 2013, with the option to extend for additional scopes of work as needed.

About the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange

The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange was established through legislation signed into law in 2013 to provide an online marketplace where Idaho families and small businesses can go to compare and purchase health insurance. The Exchange is governed by a 19-member Board authorized by the Idaho Legislature to set the rules and regulations for implementing a state-based health insurance exchange.

Stephen Weeg of Pocatello, a retired executive director of Health West, serves as chairman of the Board.  The Board must establish an Exchange by January 1, 2014, as required by federal law. It is empowered by State law to develop an operating plan and contract for required services.

 

For more information please visit www.healthexchange.idaho.gov

 

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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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