Meetings on Health Insurance Exchange for Wyoming

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 Representatives with Governor Matt Mead are touring the state to hear health insurance concerns from the public and get their opinion on bringing a health insurance exchange to Wyoming. 



Health insurance changes though the Affordable Care Act are expected to take place by 2014, but Governor Matt Mead is looking for an alternative that is more suitable for Wyoming.

"It's federal and it's top down," said Elizabeth Hoy, Health Care Policy Adviser to Governor Matt Mead. "It doesn't take into account all of the differences in our Wyoming market that are different from so many other markets."

Which is why the state government is looking towards developing a Health Insurance Exchange, which would allow Wyoming residents to look at health insurance policies online and compare prices.

"And that's part of this competition," said Hoy. "Having this transparent information will allow them to see what their competitors are doing, how their competitors are pricing their products."

But there are several specifics that have yet to be worked out for the exchange.

"Exactly how we are going to do it, I think the mood is that we want to do a quasi-government," said House District 26 Representative Elaine Harvey. "Similar to the business council where you have experts in the field sitting on the council and helping to make those decisions."

The steering committee hopes to design the exchange to get the 83,000 living with out health insurance in the state on board with a health insurance plan.
They are looking to other states like Utah and Massachusetts that have a health insurance exchanges in place.

"The Utah model, although it is growing slowly, it is a free market, private industry based system and that is what I'm really interested in, is not disenfranchising businesses" said Representative Harvey.

Town hall meetings are scheduled to take place from 6-8 PM on Monday January 23rd at Gillette College in the Presidential Hall, on Tuesday January 24th at the Evansville Community Center and a meeting on Wednesday the 25th at the Laramie County Community College Centennial Room.