Blue Cross

Blue Cross of Idaho

Health insurance officials are warning lawmakers that switching public employees to a self-insurance model could place the state at a greater financial risk.

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As Idaho gets ready for the third year of using a state health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are still adapting to the new system. This month, those companies announced some proposed rate increases for insurance policies next year.

The Associated Press reported last week that Blue Cross of Idaho has asked for the most rate hikes.

“[That’s] simply because we offer more plan options for people,” says Josh Jordan, manager of Corporate Communications with Blue Cross of Idaho. He says every insurance carrier in the state asked for increases.

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The Spokesman-Review reported Sunday that the Legislature’s decision to build an entirely state-based exchange in March came too late. Jody Olson with the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange says for the first year, Idaho will use some federal resources to maintain the state’s health exchange website.

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Five companies will offer health insurance via Idaho's online marketplace for individuals and small businesses to get coverage.

The Idaho Statesman reports the companies offering insurance over the insurance exchange are Altius, Blue Cross of Idaho, BridgeSpan, PacificSource and SelectHealth.

BridgeSpan was created by Regence Blue Shield.

No prices have been announced for the 134 plans, but the average is $240 monthly, according to an earlier announcement.

Blue Cross of Idaho

Health insurance companies are also among those reacting to today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a majority of the federal health care law. 

Blue Cross of Idaho is the largest private insurer in the state, covering 720,000 people in Idaho.  Karen Early is a spokeswoman for the not-for-profit company.  She says now that most of the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, it’s time for Idaho to create its own insurance exchange