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Thu February 7, 2013
Senate begins debate on the interstate sales of health insurance
The State Senate has given initial approval to a bill that will allow out-of-state health insurance companies to offer policies in Wyoming. The goal of the legislation is to encourage competition and possibly lower health insurance costs.
Wyoming consumers have limited health insurance choices and supporters hope the bill will fix this. However, Senator Bill Landen of Casper says he is worried that the legislation could harm Wyoming insurers, by bringing in unwanted competition.
Senator Charles Scott, who chairs the Senate Health and Labor Committee, says competition is a good thing, but he also says that Wyoming is a high-cost health care state. For that reason he’s not sure that many out of state insurance companies will choose to compete.
“I think they think that the Wyoming health care environment is difficult enough, so that not many out of state companies under current circumstances will be wanting to come in.”
Scott adds that since Health Insurance companies are focused on the 2014 start date for the health care overhaul, that they may not be interested in expanding to new states until things settle down with the federal law.