(sigh) After seven years of doing this, you'd think I'd know better: I double-checked the Your Health Idaho website as recently as this morning and saw no announcement of a COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period...and yet look what just showed up in my inbox an hour ago...
Your Health Idaho Announces Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured Idahoans
Idaho’s Health Insurance Marketplace will Reopen March 1
BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho announced today that a Special Enrollment Period will be established from March 1 to March 31. During this time, any eligible uninsured Idahoan can sign up for health insurance coverage.
“As we approach the one-year mark of COVID-19 in Idaho, too many Idahoans are still uninsured and in need of coverage,” said Your Health Idaho Executive Director, Pat Kelly. “Reopening the marketplace and providing Idahoans with a path to comprehensive health insurance is simply the right thing to do.”
With this announcement, Your Health Idaho joins all state-based marketplaces and the federal marketplace in offering a Special Enrollment Period as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt across the country.
More than 79,000 Idahoans Enroll in 2021 Health Insurance Coverage
BOISE, Idaho – More than 79,000 Idahoans signed up for 2021 health insurance coverage through the state health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, during the annual open enrollment period.
Compared to the same time last year, enrollments on the exchange are down by approximately 10,000. This decline is attributed in large part to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting public health emergencies and protected coverage policies.
Last year's official Idaho Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Qualified Health Plan (QHP) total was 78,431, so 79,000 should be slightly higher, not 10,000 lower. What's going on here?
Final Deadline for Health Insurance in Idaho is December 31
Your Health Idaho anticipates increased activity following deadline extension
BOISE, Idaho – Idahoans looking to find 2021 health insurance coverage still have a few days left to enroll through the state health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho.
After extending the original deadline from Dec. 15, exchange officials are urging Idahoans to apply for the monthly health insurance tax credit and make their final plan selection by 11:59 p.m. (MT) on Thursday, Dec. 31.
“I cannot stress enough how important this final deadline is for Idahoans,” said Pat Kelly, Your Health Idaho Executive Director. “Even if you are unsure if you will qualify, this is the last chance to complete an application and find out if you are eligible for lower-cost coverage through Your Health Idaho.”
Deadline to Get Health Insurance Extended Idahoans have until December 31 to get covered for 2021
Today, for the first time ever, the Your Health Idaho Board of Directors voted to extend the Open Enrolment deadline. Idahoans now have until Dec. 31, 2020, to sign up for health insurance coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2021.
Your Health Idaho saw the largest single-day enrollment since 2018 on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the original deadline date. This increased activity coupled with ongoing impacts from the coronavirus pandemic spurred Your Health Idaho to extend the deadline.
“An unprecedented year calls for unprecedented measures,” said Your Health Idaho Chairman of the Board, Stephen Weeg. “Given the challenges faced by Idahoans in 2020 and the renewed need for comprehensive health insurance, we hope that by extending the deadline a few more weeks, every Idahoan will have access to the coverage they need for the coming year.”
Less Than One Week to Enroll in 2021 Health Insurance
Your Health Idaho extends customer support hours ahead of Dec. 15 deadline
BOISE, Idaho – Idahoans have until 11:59 p.m. (MT) on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage through Your Health Idaho, the state insurance exchange. After open enrollment ends, Idahoans will not be able to enroll in coverage unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
“As expected after the Thanksgiving holiday, we have seen an increased interest from Idahoans looking to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage,” said Your Health Idaho Executive Director, Pat Kelly. “To ensure consumers are getting the help they need, Your Health Idaho has expanded business hours through December and implemented new contact options.”
It is no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year for Idahoans. In addition to the health implications and long-term consequences of COVID-19, living in a global pandemic has changed the way Idahoans work, learn, and interact with friends and family.
Over the past year, COVID-19 has also highlighted the undeniable need for comprehensive health insurance and access to quality healthcare. However, in a year with so much uncertainty and change, it may seem like health insurance is unaffordable or something that we can go without. At Your Health Idaho we understand that budgets are tight, we also know that the peace of mind that comes with having coverage in the event of an emergency is priceless.
As 2020 draws to a close, so does the annual Open Enrollment period for health insurance. Right now, at YourHealthIdaho.org you can shop and compare hundreds of health insurance plans to find the right coverage for you and your family.
New Insurance Carrier Joins Idaho Exchange, Record Number of Plans Available in 2021
Preview plans and prices beginning Oct. 1 at YourHealthIdaho.org
BOISE, Idaho – Your Health Idaho, the state health insurance exchange, announced today that Idahoans will have a record number of medical and dental plans and a new insurance carrier to choose from in 2021.
Regence, which currently sells small group and individual plans off-exchange in Idaho, will offer medical coverage through Your Health Idaho for the first time in 2021. The addition of Regence brings the total number of insurance carriers on the Idaho exchange to seven.
“We are pleased to welcome Regence to Your Health Idaho,” said Pat Kelly, Your Health Idaho Executive Director. “Adding another regional insurance carrier means even more choice for Idahoans and continued local control for the Idaho marketplace.”
Beginning Oct. 1, Idahoans can preview the 136 medical and 13 dental plans that will be available in 2021 online at www.YourHealthIdaho.org.
The Department of Insurance receives preliminary health plan information for the following year from insurance carriers by June 1 and reviews the proposed plan documents and rates for compliance with Idaho and federal regulations. The Department of Insurance does not have the authority to set or establish insurance rates, but it does have the authority to deem rate increases submitted by insurance companies as reasonable or unreasonable. After the review and negotiation process, the carriers submit their final rate increase information. The public is invited to provide comments on the rate changes. Please send any comments to Idaho Department of Insurance.
On April 14th, I noted that Idaho, which had previously refused to join the twelve other state-based ACA exchanges in launching an "open" COVID-19 specific Special Enrollment Period (i.e., open to any uninsured resident regardless of reason) announced that going forward, they were modifying their regular SEP rules somewhat:
...In partnership with the Idaho Department of Insurance and Idaho insurance providers, and in alignment with Governor Little’s initiative to reduce regulations, Your Health Idaho is working to relax the requirements for eligible Idahoans to enroll in coverage.