How Do I Get Cheap Health Insurance in Idaho State?
Four health insurance companies are providing 2020 health plans through the health insurance marketplace, plus one off-exchange-only insurer; Medicaid coverage expansion took effect January 2020 in Idaho, and “enhanced” short-term plans are also offered as of 2020.
Health Insurance Marketplace in Idaho
Idaho residents can get health insurance plans through the state’s health insurance marketplace. Idaho was initially the only state to establish its own state-run health insurance marketplace but also reject the expansion of Medicaid. But Medicaid expansion took effect in Idaho on January 1, 2020 — six years after it started in states that accepted it early when it was available — thanks to a ballot initiative that electorates passed in the 2018 election.
Enrollment in Idaho’s newly-expanded Medicaid program started on November 1, 2019. Over 65,000 people had enrolled in Medicaid under the state’s new eligibility guidelines by late February 2020.
Four health insurance companies are providing 2020 plans through Your Health Idaho: Regence BlueShield, Blue Cross of Idaho, Mountain Health CO-OP, PacificSource, and Select Health. Another insurer, Regence, provides policies only outside the exchange. The average approved rate increment for Idaho’s individual health insurance marketplace policies was 6 percent for 2020.
During the open enrollment period for 2020 health policies, over 89,000 people signed up for private individual medical insurance policies through Your Health Idaho. This was about 14,000 fewer than the previous year, primarily due to Idaho’s implementation of Medicaid coverage expansion. In 2019 and prior years, individuals with income of at least 100 percent of the poverty level were qualified for subsidies to purchase private health insurance plans in the health insurance marketplace. But as of 2020, individuals with income up to 138 percent of the poverty level are eligible for Medicaid plans instead, leading to fewer people enrolled in private individual health insurance plans.
Open Enrollment Period and Dates in Idaho
Open enrollment for 2020 coverage in Health Idaho is over. For coverage effective in 2021, the next open enrollment period will commence on November 1, 2020. Outside of the open enrollment period, regular major medical health insurance plans in the individual market can only be bought by Idaho residents who have qualifying events.
The Expansion of Medicaid in Idaho
For many years, Idaho was the only state that implemented a state-run health insurance marketplace but rejected Medicaid coverage expansion. But that changed in 2020 after decision makers passed a Medicaid expansion ballot initiative in the 2018 election. Medicaid coverage expansion in Idaho took effect on January 1, 2020, and qualified people could register on November 1, 2019. By February 2020, enrollment in Idaho’s expanded Medicaid health insurance plans had surpassed 65,000 people.
Before 2020, an estimated 119,000 Idaho inhabitants are in the coverage gap — ineligible for subsidies in the exchange and ineligible for Medicaid coverage. Besides, there is no longer a coverage gap in Idaho after the end of 2019.
Short-Term Health Insurance in Idaho
Idaho allows two kinds of short-term health insurance plans, which have differing regulations. Normal short-term health insurance coverages in Idaho are non-renewable and cannot have terms over six months. But the state allowed for the creation of new “enhanced” short-term health insurance policies that are accessible as of 2020 with longer terms and much more robust benefits and customer protections.
How Obamacare Has Helped Idaho Residents
According to U.S. Census data, the uninsured rate in the state dropped 6.1 percentage points to 10.1 percent between 2013 and 2016. Countrywide, the uninsured rate fell to 8.6 percent in the same period, but it began out a little lower than Idaho’s, with 14.5 percent of the country’s population uninsured in 2013, versus 16.2 percent of Idaho’s residents.
By 2018, the state’s uninsured rate had inched back up to 11.1 percent (countrywide, there was an increase in the uninsured rate from 2017 to 2018), but it is expected to drop significantly in 2020 when Medicaid expansion takes effect.
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