More changes on the way for Idaho Health Insurance Exchange

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - More changes are on the way for Idaho's health exchange.

Your Health Idaho will be jumping ship from the federal government's exchange. Instead, they have selected two vendors to help build and run a new state-based health insurance exchange.

Your Health Idaho said this new program will be tailored more specifically to meet the needs of Idahoans.

Idaho has been using the federal government's exchange program for the past five months, because the state didn't have enough time to get its own up and running by the initial October 1, 2013 deadline.

"We have always had the commitment and vision to have a functioning, state-based marketplace in Idaho that's controlled by Idaho," Your Health Idaho executive director Amy Dowd said. "So this just is the next step to make that a reality for us."

To make this happen, Your Health Idaho awarded contracts to GetInsured and Accenture to oversee and run the new system through 2018. The two companies also built California's state insurance exchange.

"We were looking for vendors who have been successful in other state based marketplaces, and who are committed to Idaho's vision of an exchange that is going to be tailored to the unique needs of Idahoans," Dowd said.

According to Your Health Idaho, the contracts were worth just over $40 million, and are being paid for by federal grants. Dowd said a state-controlled system will help them better serve you when it comes to signing up for coverage.

"This is a very important milestone for Your Health Idaho," Dowd said. "We'll have more control over the features and functionality that we want for Idahoans now. We wont be reliant on the federal system and the challenges there. We'll be able to make changes more easily."