The deadline is looming for Idaho to provide a statewide health insurance exchange. Whether you call it the Affordable Care Act or you prefer to call it Obama Care, there are real penalties for not complying with the law.
After great resistance, red states like Idaho were forced to make a choice when the US Supreme Court upheld most of the elements of the Affordable Care Act. The choice was to establish a state-run health exchange or have the federal government run it.
Idaho reluctantly chose to keep the control and in the first quarter of 2013 the legislature authorized a state-run option. In early August, there was a lot of speculation that Idaho was actually headed for the federally run plan but on August 20, a new website was launched that emphasized Idaho’s intention on running its own exchange.
The plan is being branded as Your Health Idaho and it’s essentially a website where Idaho’s families and small businesses can go to compare health insurance options.
The latest estimate shows that nearly 200,000 Idahoans are uninsured. Unless something changes, these people would have to pay a fee if they can afford health insurance but chose not to.
The fee in 2014 is 1% of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5% of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.
In 2014 the fee for uninsured children is $47.50 per child. The most a family would have to pay in 2014 is $285.
It's important to remember that someone who pays the fee won't get any health insurance coverage. They still will be responsible for 100% of the cost of their medical care.
The goal of the health exchange is to try and prevent these penalties by providing affordable access for everyone.
You can find more information at this link.