Panel working to form health insurance exchange plan for Idaho

Panel working to form health insurance exchange plan for Idaho
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Idaho's health insurance exchange working group held the first of several meetings Thursday.

The goal is to draft a preliminary plan, which the governor can show the federal government on Nov. 16.

This 13-member panel is made up of lawmakers, representatives of Idaho's major insurers, lobbyists, a business owner, a surgeon and an insurance agent.

They're tasked with designing a health insurance exchange.

The working group's preference is a state-run insurance exchange, which would avoid federal involvement in health insurance decisions.

But it's a daunting task as the insurance exchange must offer the essential health benefits detailed in the president's Affordable Care Act. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the president's plan, the insurance exchange is a nationwide hot potato.

The department of insurance says so far 15 states have decided to create state-run exchanges, one state is partnering with the feds, and 17 states have decided to either do nothing, or like Idaho, are still studying options.