Gov. Butch Otter has announced the 19 members of Idaho’s Health Insurance Exchange Board, the group that will set the rules and regulations for implementing Idaho’s state-based insurance exchange. The board includes three current members of the Idaho Legislature: Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, and Rep. Kelly Packer, R-McCammon.
“I’m grateful that people with the talent, experience and ability to serve effectively on this board accepted the challenge,” Otter said. “The folks who have agreed to serve on the board will be our eyes, ears and most importantly the voices of Idaho in this process.”
Stephen Weeg of Pocatello, a retired former executive director of Health West and one of three board members designated to represent consumer interests, will serve as interim chairman of the board while it develops bylaws for its own work in the coming months. Its non-legislative voting members must be confirmed by the Idaho Senate.
Besides Weeg, the other two consumer-interest representatives appointed to the board are Mark Estess, Idaho director of AARP; and Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Food Bank.
Three board members will represent the health insurance industry: Dave Self, senior vice president and regional director for Pacific Source; Scott Kreiling, president of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho; and Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, president and CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho.
Two members will represent companies that sell health insurance products: B. Hyatt Erstad of Erstad and Co. in Boise; and Tom Shores of Shores Insurance in Boise.
Four of the board members are designated as representatives of small employer business interests: Frank Chan, owner of Applied Computing, LLC in Boise; Jeff Agenbroad, owner of Since 86, Inc. in Nampa; Kevin Settles, owner of Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery in Boise, Eagle and Coeur d’Alene; and Fernando Veloz of MS Administrative Services in Meridian, chairman of the Employers Health Coalition of Idaho.
Two members will represent health care providers: John Livingston, M.D., of Boise, a doctor of internal medicine and general surgery; and Margaret Henbest of Boise, a registered nurse, former Idaho legislator and executive director of the Idaho Alliance of Leaders in Nursing.
“I have a feeling that this is going to be fairly intense as we seek to get up to speed and meet the expectations of the Idaho Legislature and federal law,” Rusche told IdahoReporter.com upon the announcement of his appointment.
All three of the legislative appointees—Rusche, Rice and Packer—voted in favor of the insurance exchange legislation earlier this year.