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Governor signs health care executive order

Governor Butch Otter has signed an executive order he says will direct Idaho Insurance Director Dean Cameron to find creative ways outside the restrictions of the Affordable Care Act to make health coverage more affordable for Idaho residents.

Otter said it was possible due to the “flexibility provided by the Trump administration to develop guidelines under which Idaho health insurance carriers can offer coverage plans at significantly lower costs.”

“Congress and President Trump have eliminated the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy Obamacare plans or face financial penalties. That means we will no longer be penalized for buying coverage that doesn’t meet all the Obamacare rules,” the Governor said. “We have been waiting patiently while Congress has been unable to find a solution and Idaho families have been forced to buy products that are too expensive and loaded with benefits they don’t want or need. Now the door is open for states to pursue our own reasonable solutions. We believe Idaho will lead the way in states taking back control of their insurance markets.”

You can see the executive order here.

Blue Cross of Idaho has endorsed what it calls a “new state-led direction”: In a statement Blue Cross of Idaho President and CEO Charlene Maher said, “It will create more choices for consumers during these times of uncertainty. Governor Otter’s executive order ensures more options, lower prices and continued access to individual health insurance, especially for middle-class working people who don’t currently have health insurance because they can’t afford it. In the coming weeks, we will further evaluate any guidance issued by the Idaho Department of Insurance and determine the next steps we need to take to offer these new products to Idaho’s individual health insurance market.”

Lt. Governor Brad Little believes the action will position Idaho to provide “real, affordable health care for Idahoans…eliminating the federal disaster known as Obamacare.”

In the accompanying document, Little outlined the cost savings for a typical Idaho family, but did not explain the type of medical coverage it would provide.

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