Board members discuss implementation of Idaho's health insurance exchange

Credit: Deren Martinez / KTVB

Board members discuss implementation of Idaho's health insurance exchange

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on September 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 29 at 6:16 PM

BOISE -- A board of nineteen members are behind the building and operating of the Your Health Idaho insurance exchange.

Governor Butch Otter appointed the board members in April, so they only had about six months to get everything in place.

Enrollment begins on October 1st.

"As you know we are very late coming to the dance with the legislation and so the board and staff have done a phenominal job getting up to speed," said board member B. Hyatt Erstad.

Just getting the online exchange open was a challenge in itself, because Idaho legislators made the decision to have a state run insurance marketplace just last spring.

Idaho's board of directors is one of the largest in the country, and includes people of many different backgrounds.

"It's a huge honor and a huge priveledge, and it's also a little frightening," said board member Margaret Henbest. "It's an entirely different entity and change is always scary, for the public for businesses, and we just have to work through this transition."

Erstad says the perspectives from small business owners, those in medical field, and those working for non-profits builds a team of Idahoans, with our state's values in mind.

"We can have it run by Idahoans and be sensative to Idahoans needs, and be very nimble, I think that's the biggest thing," said Erstad.

Idaho's exchange is now based on the federal platform, but board members hope it will move to its own system next year.

"You want to make sure you make the right decisions and stand up the exchange that has integrity and that is well run," said Henbest.

There are committees in place that will be tasked with researching certain areas of the exchange. Then, the board will vote on decisions regarding the operation of the online insurance marketplace.

The board members are all volunteers, and have agreed to serve for four years.

The 19 board members are:

  • Chairman Stephen Weeg
  • Jeff Agenbroad, Since 86, Inc.
  • Richard Armstrong, Director, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (non-voting)
  • Frank Chan, Applied Computing
  • Bill Deal, Director, Idaho Department of Insurance (non-voting)
  • Mark Estess, AARP Idaho
  • Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, Blue Cross of Idaho
  • B. Hyatt Erstad, Erstad and Co.
  • Margaret Henbest, Idaho Alliance of Leaders in Nursing
  • Scott Kreiling, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho
  • John Livingston, M.D.
  • State Rep. Kelley Packer
  • State Sen. Jim Rice
  • State Rep. John Rusche
  • Dave Self, Pacific Source
  • Kevin Settles, Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery
  • Tom Shores, Shores Insurance
  • Karen Vauk, Idaho Food Bank
  • Fernando Veloz, MS Administrative Services

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