Can't access Idaho's insurance exchange? Here's another way to find your premiums.

adutton@idahostatesman.comOctober 22, 2013 

Have you used the Idaho exchange to shop for insurance? What did you find? Did anything surprise you about plan prices, options or provider networks? Contact reporter Audrey Dutton at adutton@idahostatesman.com.

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Idaho, like many other states, is using a federal IT system for its health insurance exchange. That system has been riddled with glitches since Oct. 1, when exchanges around the country went live.

But individuals and families still have seven weeks to enroll in health plans in time for coverage to start Jan. 1.

If you're having trouble getting hooked up to the Your Health Idaho website to shop for plans, there are other ways to find out what you'll pay for health insurance next year.

Four insurance companies have plans available on the Idaho exchange. All of them offer premiums broken down by age, where you live and whether you use tobacco — the only three factors insurers can consider when pricing a health insurance plan.

  • Blue Cross of Idaho, an Idaho insurer, has published its rates on its website. Just find your Zip code and click "View Rates" for that area to see comprehensive premium charts.
  • BridgeSpan, a sister company of Regence BlueShield of Idaho, displays insurance premiums on an interactive website. Just click on "Visitor: Change location" in the upper right-hand section and enter your home Zip code. You'll see health insurance plan options, with deductible amounts and other details.
  • PacificSource, an Oregon-based company, has plan details on its website. But if you're looking for the premiums for those health plans, click here and click on the link for your Zip code to get a thorough list of premiums.
  • SelectHealth is a Utah-based insurer brought into Idaho through a deal with St. Luke's Health System. Click here to see its health-plan rates for next year. For details, including what the plans cover and how much they pay, click here.

But the rates published there aren't the whole story. Many Idahoans will end up paying less.

Anyone who earns between 100 percent and 400 percent of poverty level can receive a tax credit toward those monthly premiums. (This year, that's $11,490 to $45,960 for a single person. Click here to see family poverty-level incomes.)

To find out how much of a tax credit you may receive to offset the premiums from insurance companies, use this subsidy calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

People who earn less than 100 percent of the poverty line will not qualify for tax credits, and Idaho has opted not to extend Medicaid to those individuals next year.

Health insurance purchased through the exchange by Dec. 15 will provide coverage starting Jan. 1. All Americans must have health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 or pay a tax penalty, which is $95 next year and increases after that.

Confused about the timeline for health insurance under the law? Click here for an explanation from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Click here for answers to other questions, such as, "What if I want to change [insurance] plans after I enroll?"

Click here to learn about tax penalties for going uninsured.

 

Audrey Dutton: 377-6448, @IDS_Audrey

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