Idaho Continuing to Run State-Based Exchange

BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange will continue to operate its state-based Exchange here in Idaho for the 2014 open enrollment period that is set to begin later this fall -despite reports to the contrary.  

The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange is responsible for all decisions made about the Exchange. The Idaho Exchange is managing several key functions including:

  • Plan Management: Insurance plans that are sold on the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange have been certified by the Idaho Department of Insurance that they meet the minimum coverage requirements called the essential health benefits
  • Consumer Resource Center: The Idaho Exchange will establish a consumer resource center located here in Idaho that will be staffed by Idahoans to field questions about the Exchange from Idahoans
  • Consumer Assistance: The Idaho Exchange is working with non-profits and community organizations to train Idahoans to be In-Person Assisters who will be able help Idahoans navigate the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange
  • Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Website: The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange is building a website for its state-based exchange that contains important information and also features answers to frequently asked questions by Idahoans and provides a connection to Idaho resources throughout the state who have been trained by the Idaho Exchange to help Idahoans navigate their options.

One of the issues that the Exchange faced early on was how to build the complex application and data technology that is required to connect individuals to insurers' plans and financial assistance such premium assistance or reduced cost-sharing programs; a process that can take between 12 – 24 months.

"In the short amount of time since the enabling legislation (HB 248) was passed in March, our staff and the 19 member Exchange board have been working tirelessly to ensure that Idaho's Exchange is operational by the federal deadline. In order to do so, there are instances where we will be using existing technologies temporarily, as we develop and test each part of the Exchange," explained Amy Dowd, executive director of the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange.  "Idaho has and will continue to have a state-based Exchange."

Later this year the Exchange will competitively source, via RFP, a vendor to assist us in building our own application and enrollment functionality onto our website. 

"I am very proud of the work that our dedicated team has achieved in such a short period of time, and am pleased to report that we will be unveiling our new name, logo and consumer friendly website next week here in Boise," said Dowd. "This will officially kick off outreach efforts across the state to educate Idahoans about their options on Idaho's state-based Exchange."

About the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange
The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange was established through legislation signed into law in 2013 to provide an online marketplace where Idaho families and small businesses can go to compare and purchase health insurance. The Exchange is governed by a 19-member Board authorized by the Idaho Legislature to set the rules and regulations for implementing a state-based health insurance exchange.

Stephen Weeg of Pocatello, a retired executive director of Health West, serves as chairman of the Board.  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.

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SOURCE Idaho Health Insurance Exchange