BOISE, Idaho -- With a looming deadline approaching, insurers are making a last-ditch plea to Gov. C.L. Butch Otter for a nonprofit, state-based insurance exchange in Idaho as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

On Tuesday, Idaho's advisers said the state likely has too little time -- and too much work still to complete -- to establish a state-run exchange by 2014.

But insurance companies including Blue Cross of Idaho, Regence Blue Shield and PacificSource urge the state not to default to a federal exchange, like many states are doing.

Jack Rovner, an attorney working for the insurers, says Idaho can still develop a state-based nonprofit to manage this online insurance marketplace.

Insurers fear a federal exchange would invite regulation from Washington, D.C.

Idaho must announce its intentions by Nov. 16.

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