Wyoming has taken its first tentative steps in building its own health insurance exchange. The state has launched the Wyoming Health Benefits Exchange Steering Committee. The members of the committee are tasked to examine the benefits and failings of an exchange program and determine how the state can successfully implement such system. While the federal health care law is shrouded in uncertainty as it awaits a constitutionality ruling from the Supreme Court, Wyoming legislators are not willing to spend more time speculating on the exchange.
According to federal law, each state must have its own health insurance exchange fully operational by 2014. Time is running out, especially for smaller states that do not have access to the funds enjoyed by their larger counterparts. Governor Matt Mead has expressed concern over pursuing the issue without knowing the fate of the overarching law, but believes that some action must be taken until the Supreme Court presents its ruling on the matter.
The committee has been investigating the potential benefits of the program in the state. One of the major benefits the committee has found is that small businesses may be granted greater access to insurance policies as more insurers would be competing for their business. The committee asserts that if the exchange is properly run, the benefits of the program should outweigh any negative impact the state may see for the foreseeable future.