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Idaho bill would ease way for health insurers

February 23, 2012
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BOISE, Idaho—Out-of-state companies would have an easier time selling health insurance in Idaho if a Boise lawmaker has her way.

The House State Affairs committee agreed Thursday to hear the legislation, which removes the requirement that licensed health-insurers have physical locations in the state to sell policies to residents.

Bill sponsor Rep. Julie Ellsworth says out-of-state companies would have to comply with Idaho's mandatory minimum benefit requirement.

They would also have to contribute to a fund that helps pay for medical care for the indigent that don't qualify for Medicaid.

The Boise Republican says a small group of companies rule the state's health-insurance market.

She argues that removing the roadblocks for out-of-state companies would increase competition and lower health-coverage costs in Idaho.

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