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Committee Wants Exchange That Works For Wyoming

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

Creation of a health insurance marketplace for Wyoming is in progress. What form it takes is the task of a committee that met Thursday  in Casper.

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The new health care law requires that every state create a health insurance exchange or marketplace by 2014. The Wyoming Health Benefit Exchange Steering Committee is tasked with deciding if Wyoming creates its own, partners in a regional exchange, or turns the job back to the Federal Government.

“We want it to be a Wyoming solution and that’s something that this committee is committed to.  We don’t think its a Wyoming answer to have the federal government run the exchange for us.”

That’s co-committee chair, State Representative Elaine Harvey and she feels confident that Wyoming will create its own model that works for Wyoming.

A health insurance marketplace would provide a comprehensive source of information on every type of policy available in Wyoming to both individuals and businesses large and small.

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

The committee decided on Thursday to hire, by summer, a consultant to help gather the information necessary to build the exchange model including the design of the online portal. Harvey suggests Wyoming may benefit most from joining a regional exchange. How that might work is part of the decision making process.

“We think that we need to look to partner with states that are fiscally conservative, budget’s that are similar to ours, not dollar amounts specifically, but a balanced budget. We think we need to look at states that have similar demographics; rural states and frontier states.”

Wyoming has an $800,000 federal grant to work with as they carry out this planning stage. A preliminary report from the group is due to state lawmakers by October 1st.

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