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Group Health to stop covering small businesses in N. Idaho

By Maureen Dolan

A Seattle-based health insurance provider’s decision to stop covering small employer groups in Idaho will leave 450 people in the Coeur d’Alene and Moscow areas without medical insurance come Jan. 1.

Group Health’s decision to discontinue insuring groups of 50 people or less is a business decision that has nothing to do with health care reform, said Bob Burden, the administrator for the organization’s coverage area east of the Cascades.

“Due to the small size of our small group enrollment in Idaho in the very limited geographic area that we cover, our small group product just has not been viable,” Burden told the Coeur d’Alene Press.

The move affects 38 small groups in Kootenai and Latah counties, the only Idaho regions covered by Group Health.

The insurer notified the Idaho Department of Insurance last month that it will not renew any existing small business plans after the end of the year, and that the company will withdraw any outstanding quotes for new small group business.

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