TWIN FALLS — If you’re planning to buy health or dental insurance through Idaho’s exchange, open enrollment begins Thursday and you must sign up by Dec. 15.
About 90,000 Idahoans are enrolled through Your Health Idaho. Idaho is among the top three U.S. states for enrollment and first among states with their own marketplace, executive director Pat Kelly said Tuesday during a visit to the Times-News.
If you have a plan through Your Health Idaho, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled for 2019. Coverage begins Jan. 1.
“We still encourage people to shop,” Kelly said, to make sure their insurance plan best meets their needs.
If you don’t sign up by Dec. 15, you won’t be able to until the next open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying event such as a move, change in household size, or turn 26 and age off your parent’s insurance.
Your Health Idaho was created following the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being signed into law in 2010. State legislators voted in 2013 to create a state-based marketplace instead of using the federal marketplace. Your Health Idaho is an independent entity and doesn’t use state funding.
For 2019, consumers can choose from 293 plans from four medical carriers and three dental carriers through Your Health Idaho. Premiums will increase for 2019 by an average of 5 percent.
Those who qualify for a tax credit can expect an average 80 percent savings on monthly health insurance premiums, Kelly said. In order to qualify, the income range is generally about $25,000 to $100,000 annually for a family of four.
New online tools this year at YourHealthIdaho.org include a provider search feature to make sure your doctors are in-network for the plan you’re looking at and a formulary search for prescription drug coverage.
Kelly said he’s excited about the new online tools because they’ll help consumers with the decision-making process.
Across the state, Your Health Idaho has 900 brokers and agents. They’re state-licensed insurance agents who’ve received training through Your Health Idaho.
It’s free to meet with an agent to get help with open enrollment. You can find a list of local agents on the Your Health Idaho website.