Health care coverage has been an issue for years, since the Idaho Legislature did not expand Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act originally passed. Since then efforts have been made to cover the approximately 78,000 Idahoans who do not qualify for Medicaid and are not eligible for subsidies on the Idaho insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho (YHI). Despite several attempts, and many different plans and ideas, Idaho still has thousands without health care coverage.
hero_image_alt_text===A sign saying close the gap
thumbnail_alt_text===A sign saying close the gap
The plan put forward this year was legislation (House Bill 464) that would authorize the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare to submit waiver requests to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would allow many in the coverage gap to qualify for advanced premium tax credits to purchase coverage in the YHI exchange, leveraging federal funds. It would also allow Idahoans with specific high cost or medically complex medical conditions to qualify for Medicaid in Idaho, using our federal match rate this would move these high cost individuals out of the private insurance market, resulting in reduced premiums for those finding health care coverage under YHI.
As the Legislature winds down, we don’t have high hopes that the House will move this bill forward, which means approximately 78,000 remain in the health care coverage gap, for another year. With potential changes and instability at the national level, predicting what could happen to those without coverage is a terrible guessing game, and all Idahoans continue to pay more for those without coverage, and seeing worse health outcomes.
It’s time for a solution to the health coverage gap in Idaho. To learn more, and to take action, join You’re the Cure, and help us advocate for good health for all Idahoans.