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Eye On Boise

Blue Cross files to offer 5 ‘state-based’ insurance plans that don’t comply with the ACA

Insurer Blue Cross of Idaho submitted plans this week to state regulators that open the door for policies that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, following an executive order from Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little.

The five proposed plans from Blue Cross, christened “Freedom Blue Plans,” could be available to consumers as soon as this spring, Boise State Public Radio reports; you can see their full report here. The insurance company is the first to offer proposals to regulators following the executive order; Idaho’s move has drawn national attention and speculation that it may not be legal under current federal laws.

Blue Cross President and CEO Charlene Maher said in a statement, “Our new state-based plans are a response to Gov. Otter’s executive order, which begins to solve the issues that have kept middle-class Idahoans from buying health insurance. … This is about affordability and choice.”

Blue Cross has posted comparisons of its new plans to existing plans online here and here. Meanwhile, state Insurance Director Dean Cameron told the Idaho Statesman, “We’re excited that they’ve filed. Obviously, we’re going to review their application carefully and review their rate carefully to make sure they meet our state guidelines, but we’re excited for Idaho consumers, because now they’ll be given a choice.” You can read Statesman reporter Audrey Dutton’s full report here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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