Idaho One of Only 15 States To Run Their Own Health Exchanges


When Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced on Tuesday that he was opting to create a state-run health exchange, pending approval from the 2013 Idaho Legislature, he was putting the Gem State on a short list.

Only 15 states say they plan to run their own health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

States have until Friday to tell the federal government if they plan to run their own exchange, where residents can compare and shop for private insurance plans or want Washington to run it for them.

Eleven other states have told the government that it should plan on being heavily involved in setting up the private health insurance markets, Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, told Reuters this morning.

A handful of other states may decide to run their own exchanges before the deadline but that still leaves Washington with the monumental task of setting up private health exchanges for about 30 states.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, said his state will not be setting up their own exchange and will let Washington do it for them. Corbett told the Associated Press that setting up a state-based exchange would be "irresponsible to put Pennsylvanians on the hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not been fully written.’’

Georgetown University Professor Sabrina Corlette told American Public Media's Marketplace, heard locally on Boise State Public Radio, that it's in a state's interest to run its own exchange.

“A state that’s going to run its own exchange has an opportunity to really change the entire health care landscape if it wants to do that,” she said.