Idaho Businesses, Health Care Providers Urge Workgroup to Recommend Insurance Exchange

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On the eve of a critical meeting of Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's Health Insurance Exchange Workgroup, the Idaho Health Exchange—including individuals, small and large businesses, health care providers, financial advisers and the highly influential Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry—fired off a letter to group members, urging support for state-based health insurance exchange.

"With the approaching deadline presented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance, a growing number of Idaho businesses and individuals, sees an important opportunity for Idaho to take control of its health insurance destiny," said the letter. "As you approach your final decision about a state health insurance exchange, we, the members of the Idaho Health Exchange Alliance, ask for your support of a state solution."

The Alliance boasts 308 members, including IACI, Blue Cross of Idaho, the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Hospital Association and the Idaho Mining Association.

Otter's workgroup is expected to make its formal recommendation to the governor Friday. Otter then has until Friday, Nov. 16, to relay Idaho's intent to the federal government. The Affordable Care Act dictates that any state that has not built its own exchange will have one instituted for it by the federal government.

Members of Otter's workgroup include state legislators, health insurance providers, retailers and Wayne Hoffman, director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

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