Idaho is 9th in U.S. for hitting federal target for enrollments in health exchange

Idaho has exceeded a target set by the federal government for health-insurance exchange enrollments in the past three months, according to state officials.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wanted Idaho to enroll 18,800 people in health insurance plans between October and December. The state insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, said Monday that by Dec. 28, about 19,922 Idahoans had chosen plans — ranging from the "bronze" plan with lower benefits and cheaper premiums, to the "platinum" plan with richer benefits and higher premiums.

By exceeding the federally set target, Idaho was 9th in the U.S. for enrollment, state officials said. Nationally, enrollments were at 65 percent of the federal target, state officials said.

New information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that, in addition to those who enrolled, another 25,828 people in Idaho have completed applications for coverage but have not selected a plan.

Older adults and females made up the largest share of people enrolling in the exchange during the first three months. A large percentage of those who enrolled also made low enough incomes to qualify for subsidized premiums.

Idahoans who are within 10 years of being eligible for Medicare — 55 to 64 years old — bought the largest share of plans, about 31 percent. Younger adults, 18 to 34 years old, made up about 24 percent of the plan purchases. That was in line with national rates released Monday.

Females bought 55 percent of the plans in Idaho as of late December.

The most popular type of plan selected by all Idahoans was in the "silver" category. About 15 percent of people chose plans in the cheapest and least generous "bronze" category, while only 4 percent opted for the most generous and most expensive "platinum" category.

About 89 percent of Idahoans who bought exchange plans so far have qualified for some financial assistance to pay for insurance coverage, the exchange said.