Idaho Health Insurance Companies Can Extend Policies, But It's Not Required

Dec 3, 2013

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is telling Idaho health insurance companies it's up to them whether they want to extend canceled policies.

Last month, millions of people around the country and in Idaho got notices cancelling their insurance policies. Insurance companies said those plans had to be dropped, because they did not comply with new standards under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

But Obama, who repeatedly promised that enrollees could keep their existing coverage, asked insurance companies, and the states that regulate them, to extend the canceled plans through 2014. Since then, each state has had to decide whether to let insurance companies continue offering the plans.

Gov. Otter said Tuesday he talked with carriers about their options and looked at what other states were doing. He said he's not going to tell companies how to run their business. But he's asking carriers to consider reinstating coverage for individuals and small businesses in Idaho.

“If they can see their way clear, I hope they’ll consider reinstating those policies," Otter said in a press release. "But I’m not going to add another layer of government restrictions on the marketplace.”

Any Idaho resident whose existing policies have been terminated as a result of the health care overhaul coverage requirements should contact their chosen carrier or the Idaho Department of Insurance for more information.

“I’m confident they’ll [insurance companies] act in the best interest of their customers,” said Otter.