October 7, 2010                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Commissioner Lindeen hosts first Exchange Stakeholder Involvement Council


      Today, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen began the multi-year process of establishing a state health insurance Exchange. The Exchange Stakeholder Involvement Council held its first meeting at the State Capitol to discuss how the state and insurance companies will put this new process for purchasing insurance in place.
      
      Commissioner Lindeen formed the Council last month as a way for interested parties to provide her office feedback during the planning process. The Council is made up of 25 members representing consumers, health insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and small businesses.
      
      ìExchanges are required under the new federal health insurance reform law to begin on January 1, 2014.î explained Lindeen. ìThe Exchange will provide one-stop shop for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance. Insurance carriers who participate in the Exchange will provide plans that cover essential benefits and allow consumers to compare different plans to fit their needs. In order to get this done, I need all interested parties to begin work on this now.î
      Planning for the Exchange is funded by a $1 million grant that the Commissionerís Office received earlier this week.
      
      For more information about the Council or the Exchange, visit www.csi.mt.gov.