BOISE • The Idaho health insurance exchange has been open for business for several days, but due to the high traffic, the online application process is operating slower than expected.
The state exchange — called Your Health Idaho — was created by the Idaho Legislature to provide an online marketplace where Idaho families and small businesses can go to compare and purchase health insurance, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Amy Dowd, executive director of the exchange, remains optimistic that the website will up to speed soon.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Dowd said. “Open enrollment ... continues until March 31, 2014. As long as you complete your application by Dec. 15, 2013, coverage will be effective on Jan. 1, 2014.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.9 percent of Idahoans under the age of 65 didn’t have health insurance in 2011. That marks a decline in the share of uninsured Idahoans since 2010 when the rate was 20.3 percent.
Dowd encourages insurance consumers to contact agents, brokers and in-person assisters — called Consumer Connectors — to help navigate the process. Consumer Connectors can be found at www.yourhealthidaho.org/consumerassistancelocator.
The Consumer Resource Center is open and representatives are available to take calls and questions at 855-YH-Idaho (855-944-3246) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exchange will not be affected by the recent federal government shutdown, Dowd said. “All functions of Your Health Idaho will remain operational regardless of federal government status.”