Bringing the Economy Home

Another Expert Tells Stakeholders Idaho Has Run Out Of Time To Build Health Insurance Exchange

Idaho doesn’t have time to create its own health insurance exchange.  Back in August, a state insurance department official explained that to a group studying Idaho’s options for creating an exchange as required under the federal health care reform law.  And today, a consultant with KPMG said the same thing.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed 13 industry stakeholders and lawmakers to look at whether Idaho should create it’s own health insurance exchange, let the federal government take the reins, or a combination of both.

The Associated Press reports at today’s health insurance exchange meeting, KPMG consultant Robert Mitchell explained why Idaho’s time is up.

At this point, it’s too complicated and risky to launch a state-run exchange, like neighboring states Washington and Oregon plan, said Robert Mitchell, a Denver-based consultant with KPMG LLC hired to help the state make its choice. Those states decided long ago to move ahead with their own online marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to buy insurance by 2014.

What likely remains for Idaho, Mitchell told Otter’s Health Insurance Exchange working group on Tuesday, is to choose between a hybrid, state-federal exchange combination, like states like Arkansas have opted for – or cede control of an insurance exchange to federal officials, as Texas and Louisiana are doing.

“There’s a whole bunch of deadlines that are looming,” Mitchell said. “No matter what you choose, if you go federal, if you go hybrid, you’re still going to be interacting with the federal government.” – Associated Press

States have until November 16 to decide if they’ll move forward with creating a state-based exchange.


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