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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Your Health Idaho

Who Is the Marketplace for?

Your Health Idaho is the health insurance Marketplace is where eligible residents can shop for and buy insurance in person, online, or by phone. Idaho and the federal government are running the exchange in partnership until 2015, when Idaho is expected to take over full operation. The Marketplace, also called an Exchange, is mainly for people who:

  • Don’t have insurance
  • Aren’t insured by their employer
  • Aren’t included in their spouse’s employer insurance 
  • Have pre-existing conditions and may have had trouble getting insurance before
  • Have private insurance but want to look at other options
  • Own a small business

The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans have health insurance starting in 2014. Generally, you don't need to buy insurance through the Marketplace if you are currently covered by Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, or an employer-sponsored plan.

When You Can Enroll:  The next open enrollment period will be from Nov. 15, 2014, to Feb. 15, 2015.

If you have a life-changing event -- such as the birth of a child, losing your job, or moving to a new state -- you don't have to wait for the next enrollment period. You can sign up or change coverage within 60 days of the event.

Plans and Costs

Types of plans: All the insurance plans on the Marketplace are sold by private companies or co-ops. They can offer four types of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. These “metal level” plans all cover the same kinds of benefits in Idaho. What differs is how much they pay on average toward the costs of healthcare services. Here’s how it works:

  • Bronze Plan: You pay 40% and the plan pays 60%.
  • Silver Plan: You pay 30% and the plan pays 70%.
  • Gold Plan: You pay 20% and the plan pays 80%.
  • Platinum Plan: You pay 10% and the plan pays 90%.

Low cost – or catastrophic – plans are available, especially for people who are under 30 and are healthy.  These plans cost less up front, but they don’t give you as much coverage. They generally require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs.

Costs: Companies on the Marketplace can vary costs based on your age, where you live in the state, and your tobacco use. They cannot charge you more because of your sex or your health condition.

Costs: Idaho is divided into 7 regions. Your Health Idaho has released a sampling of premiums. For example, a 31-year-old in the Boise area could pay as little as $160 a month or as much as $336 a month, depending on the type of plan. In the Idaho Falls area and east and north of Idaho Falls, the rates would be from $180 to $333. For a family of four in the Boise area, premiums could range from $530  to $1,100. Many people will be eligible for tax credits or subsidies that will bring costs down.

Idaho allows companies to charge tobacco users 50% more than non-tobacco users.

Which Health Plans Will Sell Insurance in the Idaho Marketplace? Eight companies will sell coverage in either the individual or small business Marketplace. They are: 

  • Altius Health Plans, Inc
  • BEST Life and Health Insurance Company
  • Blue Cross of Idaho
  • BridgeSpan Health Company
  • Delta Dental of Idaho
  • The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
  • PacificSource Health Plans
  • SelectHealth, Inc.

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