Gov. Brad Little has announced that Idahoans will have even more affordable health insurance options with the availability of Enhanced Short-term Plans beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Enhanced short-term plans are comprehensive health insurance plans with essential benefits that provide an alternative for families needing coverage.
The plans are especially helpful to those who are unable to afford the more expensive Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans or those who do not qualify for a subsidy.
As open enrollment for ACA concludes, Idahoans who have been priced out of the marketplace now have additional options.
“I have heard the concerns of Idaho families who want coverage but have been unable to afford it. Enhanced Short-term Plans provide good coverage at better prices. The plans are another way we are working to make health care more affordable for Idaho families,” Little said.
“Enhanced Short-term Plans will help stabilize the market as they provide healthy Idahoans with an affordable alternative,” Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Dean Cameron said. “I am grateful for Governor Little’s leadership and the Idaho Legislature’s foresight as they listened to the concerns of Idaho families who have been priced out of coverage.”
Little signed House Bill 275 earlier this year after it passed the Idaho Legislature nearly unanimously. The bill requires the DOI to establish Enhanced Short-terms Plans. The DOI promulgated rules, took public comment, revised the rules based on those comments, and approved the plans that will be available in 2020.
The DOI approved five plans and rates. Of the five plans, three plans are offered by Blue Cross of Idaho and two plans are offered by SelectHealth. Other health insurance carriers are expected to follow in their footsteps.
Some benefits in the Enhanced Short-term Plans are similar or better actuarial value than ACA Bronze level plans at significantly lower prices. Enhanced Short-term Plans should not be confused with traditional short-term plans. Enhanced Short-term Plans are guaranteed issue, meaning a consumer may not be denied; they are guaranteed renewable, meaning a consumer cannot be forced out for up to 36 months; and they are convertible to ACA plans.
Enhanced Short-term Plans function more like ACA plans, providing more protection against preexisting condition exclusions and offering more robust benefits – areas where traditional short-term plans have fallen short.