Idaho reports record 100K QHP selections on brink of possible ACA repeal.


Record Number of Idahoans Select Insurance through Your Health Idaho
Lawmakers Get Update on State’s Health Insurance Exchange

BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho (YHI) executive director Pat Kelly went before lawmakers on Wednesday to give them an update on the third year of operations for Idaho’s state-based health insurance exchange. YHI set new records for enrollment during 2016 and led state-based exchanges across the country in per capita enrollment.

“Lawmakers’ choice to keep the federal government out of Idaho’s health insurance decisions and to do things our way has benefited Idaho immensely,” said Kelly. “Your Health Idaho gives consumers options when it comes to selecting a health insurance plan and we keep more money in Idahoans’ pockets by having lower assessment fees than the federal government.”

In federally managed states, consumer fees are set at 3.5percent. In 2016, YHI’s board of directors set the state’s assessment fee at 1.99 percent. To date, lower health insurance assessment fees have saved Idahoans more than $15 million.

In 2016, more than 95,000 Idahoans purchased a health insurance plan through YHI. While this was a new record for Idaho’s exchange, early indications suggest it will be broken for the third year in a row when the 2017 open enrollment period wraps up at the end of January. Already, more than 100,000 Idahoans have selected health insurance coverage through the exchange.

“During the last few months, we have seen an undeniable interest in the exchange from Idahoans,” said Kelly. “People want to know what health insurance options are available to them and how much it costs to purchase coverage. We encourage any Idahoan who is asking those questions to work with an agent or broker in their community. They are the most knowledgeable experts and their help is available for free.”

During Kelly’s presentation before the House Health and Welfare committee, he outlined YHI’s success at becoming financially sustainable in 2016, the work to move all customer support functions under one roof to better help Idahoans, and targeted efforts to reach historically underserved groups. More highlights from the year are outlined in the exchange’s annual report.

I had previously reported Idaho enrolling 98,000 people as of 12/15, so this isn't exactly a shocker, although it turned out that 2,400 of those were standalone dental plans. Still, this is a pretty cool milestone to break...and given the impending repeal efforts by the Republicans in Congress, the irony isn't lost on me.

Note again how much YHI is stressing the importance of their exchange being state-based--they're really pushing the "We're our own boss!" angle (which, ironically, was exactly what President Obama and the Democrats were hoping other GOP states would do in the first place, prior to the King v. Burwell scheme).

Anyway, that's 100K QHP enrollees to date for Idaho. Yay, team.