Health

Salmonella
5:28 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Idaho Part Of Salmonella Outbreak, But No Recent Cases Reported

Credit eltpics / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a public health alert for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California.  That’s after 278 people have fallen ill. 

The Salmonella outbreak has spread to 18 states including Idaho.  Niki Forbing-Orr is with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.  She says two people in Idaho got sick in April and June, but neither person reported eating chicken. So it’s unclear how they got the same bacteria. 

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Affordable Care Act
2:58 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Obamacare Day 7: Idaho's Insurance Exchange Works...Slowly

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Seven days after Idaho's online health insurance exchange launched, the organization's director says there are still problems with the website, but it's working slowly.

Your Health Idaho Director Amy Dowd told state lawmakers. Idaho is building its own website, but for now, the state is using the federal portal.

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Insurance Exchange
7:43 am
Tue October 1, 2013

What You Need To Know About Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idahoans who don’t have health insurance can now start to shop for and buy insurance through the state’s online marketplace which launches today.

Nearly 19 percent of Idaho’s population under the age of 65 don’t have health insurance. Up to 200,000 Idahoans could be eligible for the subsidized health insurance or Medicaid through the state exchange.

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Insurance Exchange
4:33 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange Security System Gets The Green Light

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The board overseeing Idaho's health insurance exchange has given its approval to the security system designed to protect consumer financial and personal information.

The 19-member board certified the security system Monday — one day before the exchange will go live.

Meanwhile, insurance agents are wondering if the online marketplace will pose any benefit to their businesses.

Exchange director Amy Dowd contends the exchange is an opportunity for agents and brokers to gain a share of the 200,000 people estimated to shop for policies.

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Insurance Exchange
7:18 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Idaho's $70 Million Health Insurance Exchange Opens Tuesday

Idaho's uninsured can shop for and purchase health insurance at YourHealthIdaho.org.

Idaho's $70 million insurance exchange starts Tuesday for as many as 200,000 people in the state to enroll via the Internet for federally subsidized insurance, a key component to President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

Just don't expect to see an immediate marketing blitz: Television, newspaper and other ads due to cost $3.5 million initially won't be ready until mid-October.

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Health Insurance
9:44 am
Thu September 26, 2013

For-Profit Insurer Leaves Idaho Exchange, Reducing Options

Idaho's insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, is scheduled to open enrollment Oct. 1.

Idaho's insurance exchange lost its only for-profit health insurer, cutting nearly 10 percent of the marketplace's coverage offerings even before the Internet marketplace opens its doors Tuesday.

Altius Health Plans was slated to have 15 different policies on the Idaho exchange.

With its exit, only 146 health and dental insurance policies will be offered.

Altius' departure, coming after its parent company was purchased by insurance giant Aetna, cuts into one of the Idaho exchange's goals.

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Health Insurance
4:59 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Are You Eligible For Subsidized Health Insurance? Use This Calculator To Find Out

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idahoans will be able to shop for and purchase insurance on the state's new health insurance exchange beginning Oct. 1. Under the federal health law, most Americans will be required to have health insurance coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, or they'll face a tax penalty.

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Health Insurance
4:34 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Amid Concern, Feds Insist Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange Will Be Secure

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Federal officials insist people who enroll in Idaho's Internet health insurance marketplace starting Tuesday shouldn't fear for their personal-data privacy.

That's despite last-minute concerns among some foes of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that more must be done to protect privacy.

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Health
4:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe To Eat

US Army Corps of Engineers

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

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Health
10:14 am
Tue September 10, 2013

FDA Receives 89 Reports Of Illness From Chobani Yogurt

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Food and Drug Administration reports at least 89 people have reported getting sick after eating Chobani Greek yogurt manufactured in Twin Falls, Idaho.

FDA spokeswoman Tamara Ward told The Times-News on Monday that some have described nausea and cramps.

No link has been confirmed between the illnesses and the yogurt. However, Ward says the FDA is working with Chobani to hasten its voluntary recall.

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Recall
2:35 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Chobani Says Mold Found In Yogurt Does Not Carry Disease

Chobani's Twin Falls, Idaho facility started making Greek yogurt in 2012.
Credit TOrebelxTguy / Flickr Creative Commons

Yogurt maker Chobani says the mold that triggered a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups this week is not associated with foodborne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli.

The company identified the mold Friday as a common species that usually affects fruits, vegetables and other plants. It has also been linked to previous cases of spoiled yogurt.

Cornell University Professor Randy Worobo says the mold "should not pose a health risk to most consumers." Worobo is a professor of food science.

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Cancer
6:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Idaho Premiere Of Cancer Film Highlights Survivor, Search For Genetic Link

Credit American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will screen a new movie in Boise Thursday to help raise funds for people who face breast and ovarian cancer.

The movie Decoding Annie Parker stars Helen Hunt and Idaho actor Aaron Paul. 

Jennifer Poole with the American Cancer Society says the film is based on real events. “It’s about the journey of research doctor and a breast cancer patient, to determine there is a genetic connection for some woman as to why they get breast cancer and ovarian cancer.”

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Health Insurance
4:46 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

161 Plans Will Be Available On Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idahoans will have 161 health insurance plans to choose from on the state's health insurance exchange.  The online insurance marketplace, required under the Affordable Care Act, will start enrolling people in October. The plans take effect in January.  

Eight Idaho insurance companies will offer 76 individual health plans, 55 small group plans for businesses, 13 individual dental plans, and 17 small group dental plans.  

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Food Safety
11:41 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Chobani Voluntarily Recalling Greek Yogurt Products

Credit TBiley / Flickr Creative Commons

Yogurt maker Chobani notified stores over the weekend to pull potentially spoiled product from its shelves, but a Costco representative said the company received reports from retailers about tainted product two or three weeks ago.

Craig Wilson is vice president of quality assurance for Costco Wholesale Corp. He told The Times-News that Costco pulled Chobani yogurt manufactured in Twin Falls from its shelves in the San Francisco Bay area and the Northwest region weeks ago and is only accepting yogurt from the company's East Coast plant.

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Insurance
2:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Map: Rural Idaho Counties Have Largest Share Of Uninsured People

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The number of uninsured Idahoans has dropped to its lowest level since 2007. Data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 18.9 percent of Idahoans under the age of 65 didn't have health insurance in 2011. That marks a decline in the share of uninsured Idahoans since 2010 when the rate was 20.3 percent.

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Health
12:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Idaho Farm To Stop Selling Overly Drugged Cows

Credit Ambersky235 / Flickr Creative Commons

Two Idaho cattle operations have agreed to stop drugging cows at high enough levels that the medications could pass to humans after a federal lawsuit.

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Health
9:44 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Southwest Idaho Woman Infected With West Nile Virus

Credit Gamma Man / Flickr Creative Commons

A southwestern Idaho woman has become the eighth person statewide this year to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne illness that can cause health problems.

The woman is from Ada County, but the Central District Health Department says she was likely infected to the north, in Valley County, where she spends her weekends.

Concerns about the outbreak this year have escalated.

Ada County Weed and Pest Control conducted aerial spraying for mosquitoes last week.

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Health
9:57 am
Thu August 22, 2013

People Sickened While Rafting, Working On The Middle Fork Of The Salmon River

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is a popular recreation area.
Credit Northwest Rafting Company / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho health officials are trying to determine what is causing the gastrointestinal illness that has affected commercial and private rafters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, as well as fire personnel.

Mike Taylor, an epidemiologist with the Eastern Idaho Public Health District, tells the Idaho Statesman that river guides have fallen ill and a Forest Service weed control crew had to be flown out after getting sick.

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Health Insurance
3:45 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Idaho Launches Its Health Insurance Exchange Website

Idaho officials have launched a website for the state's health insurance exchange.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Exchange Executive Director Amy Dowd announced the website at a news conference Tuesday.

States are required to have such a website under the federal Affordable Care Act.

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Air Quality
2:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Ketchum's Air Quality "Hazardous," Treasure Valley Gets More Smoke

Credit Anne Jefferey / InciWeb

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is warning people in the Wood River Valley to stay indoors and avoid physical activity. This comes after smoke from nearby wildfires has engulfed the area. The Beaver Creek Fire is burning just southwest of Ketchum in the Sawtooth National Forest.

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