Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 and its mandates really came on to the radar of the 50 states beginning in 2012.
▪ A mandate to offer health insurance coverage — via a state-run exchange or by using a federal template — was debated in Idaho, but the Gem State ultimately decided to create its own exchange. Your Health Idaho came online in 2014.
▪ When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the ACA in 2012, it also left open the option for states to decide how they would cover citizens who did not qualify for insurance through Medicaid — as well as those who could not afford to purchase coverage through one of the exchanges. It was assumed when the ACA was drafted that all the states would expand Medicaid to cover those “in the gap” because 100 percent federal reimbursement initially was offered to the states (diminishing and leveling off at 90 percent). More than 30 states have expanded Medicaid. Idaho has not.
▪ For several years Idaho has studied whether to expand Medicaid, do nothing and keep paying expenses out of its CAT fund, or create some kind of hybrid using state funds, federal funds or even some combination. That’s where we are today.
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Below find links to: the Statesman’s ongoing editorial series “Uninsured Idahoans”; information about Idaho’s journey through this process, studies the state has commissioned, the ongoing work of the Healthcare Alternatives For Citizens Below 100 Percent Of Poverty Level committee, the Idaho Statesman’s own news coverage and some of the guest opinions that have appeared this calendar year.
‘Uninsured Idahoans’ ongoing editorial series
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare