Idahoans flock to health insurance exchange

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BOISE — Your Health Idaho has announced 101,793 Idahoans enrolled in 2018 health coverage, nearing a record for the state's Affordable Care Act health care exchange. The enrollment numbers include new and returning customers.

“This is a testament to Idaho’s model for operating an exchange. Despite the enormous uncertainty from Washington — combined with a shortened enrollment period — Your Health Idaho has been able to serve near record numbers of Idahoans,” Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho, said in a statement.

A significant difference for 2018 is the monthly premium pricing. Increased tax credits offset rising premiums to the extent that some Idahoans purchased plans for little-to-no monthly cost. Enrollment in the less expensive bronze plans increased by 15 percent over 2017.

The repeal of the individual mandate will not occur until 2019 and is not expected to have a significant impact in Idaho. Your Health Idaho estimates 5 to 7 percent of customers may consider dropping coverage if there is no requirement to join. “Fortunately, most of our customers have found there is value to being insured,” Kelly added.

Your Health Idaho, its partners at the Department of Insurance and Department of Health and Welfare — and a statewide network of insurance agents — have joined forces to prepare for additional federal policy changes. “We know there will be more adjustments to make in our future, and we will continue to provide Idahoans with choice and control over their health insurance coverage in the years to come,” Kelly said.

More information: www.yourhealthidaho.org.

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