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Montana insurer gets loan to expand into Idaho

A nonprofit health insurer in Montana has been granted another $27 million in federal funding to expand into Idaho.

The Montana Health CO-OP announced its potential expansion on Dec. 2, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported.

MHC President and CEO Jerry Dworak said it still must apply to the Idaho Department of Insurance to be licensed to sell insurance there.

MHC is one of three firms selling health insurance policies on Montana’s federally operated online marketplace. If approved, it would be the fifth company selling policies in Idaho.

MHC received a $51 million federal loan under the Affordable Care Act in 2012. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded MHC $1.84 million in startup costs for the Idaho project. If it is approved, it will receive a $25 million operational loan.

It hopes to start selling plans in Idaho by November 2014, with coverage taking effect in January 2015.

Dworak said the expansion into Idaho, if approved, would enable the co-op to spread its overhead costs among more policyholders and it could reduce costs.

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