South Dakota Insurance Provider Measure (2014)
|Voting on Insurance|
|Not on ballot|
If approved by voters, the measure, which is sponsored by three South Dakota doctors, would end the restrictions put in place by insurance companies regarding which health care providers their clients can and cannot see. The measure would allow any health care provider to join an insurance company's network, assuming the provider agrees to the company's terms and conditions and works within the company's coverage area. This concept is known as "any willing provider."
A similar measure, House Bill 1142, was defeated in the legislature in March 2013. This bill was opposed by business groups, insurance companies and South Dakota's three large hospital systems.
Supporters argue that this measure gives patients more options. Dr. Stephen Eckrich, one of the sponsors of the initiative, said, "Who would be against patients allowing themselves to choose their own doctor?" He believes that if patients can't choose their own doctors, it will lead to "the end of good health care as we know it."
Those opposing the measure contend these types of insurance plans are more expensive. Dave Hewett, president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, explained insurance programs that offer patients expanded networks and their choice of providers already exist, though these plans are more expensive. Hewett said, "Those who want more choice and are willing to pay for it have that option."
Path to the ballot
State of South Dakota
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Director of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor | Chairman of Public Utilities |