Bringing the Economy Home

Gov. Otter Announces Health Insurance Exchange Board Members

Idaho is on its way to building and operating a state-based health insurance exchange. The Legislature signed off on the state-run online insurance marketplace last month. Now, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has selected the 19-member board which will “set the rules and regulations for implementing” the exchange.

Here’s the list from the governor’s office:

Stephen Weeg of Pocatello – retired executive director of Health West and one of three members representing consumer interests – will serve as interim chairman of the Board while it develops bylaws for its own work in the coming months. Its non-legislative voting members must be confirmed by the Idaho Senate.

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.

“I’m grateful that people with the talent, experience and ability to serve effectively on this Board accepted the challenge,” Governor Otter said. “We have decided to build and operate a voluntary, state-based health insurance exchange rather than defaulting to total federal control. The folks who have agreed to serve on the Board will be our eyes, ears and most importantly the voices of Idaho in this process.”

Besides Weeg, the other two consumer-interest representatives appointed to the Board are Mark Estess, Idaho director of AARP; and Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Food Bank.

Three members will represent health insurance carriers: Dave Self, senior vice president and regional director for Pacific Source; Scott Kreiling, president of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho; and Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, president and CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho.

Two members will represent companies that sell health insurance products: B. Hyatt Erstad of Erstad and Co. in Boise; and Tom Shores of Shores Insurance in Boise.

Four members will represent small employer business interests: Frank Chan, owner of Applied Computing, LLC in Boise; Jeff Agenbroad, owner of Since 86, Inc. in Nampa; Kevin Settles, owner of Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery in Boise, Eagle and Coeur d’Alene; and Fernando Veloz of MS Administrative Services in Meridian, chairman of the Employers Health Coalition of Idaho.

Two members will represent health care providers: John Livingston, M.D., of Boise, a doctor of internal medicine and general surgery; and Margaret Henbest of Boise, a registered nurse, former Idaho legislator and executive director of the Idaho Alliance of Leaders in Nursing.

Idaho Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong will be non-voting ex-officio members of the Board. Legislative leadership also appointed Senator Jim Rice of Caldwell, Representative Kelley Packer of McCammon and Representative John Rusche of Lewiston to the Board.


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