Short Term Health Insurance In Idaho

In 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order asking that his administration eliminate regulatory obstacles to short term health insurance. As a result, rules were proposed in February to eliminate the three-month cap on short term policies put in place by the Obama administration. The new rule would allow policies to remain in effect for 364 days, although states would be permitted to set their own rules regarding duration limits.

Short term health insurance is designed to fill coverage gaps that may occur between jobs or while you wait for major medical coverage to start. In some states, insurers allow consumers to purchase four short term plans at one time, each with the required 90-day duration, but with an effective date for one policy starting the day after the expiration date for another. Short term plans use medical underwriting, are not required to cover essential health benefits and have low benefit caps.

Although several states have passed legislation that don’t allow short term plans, Idaho allows you to purchase a plan that can be in effect between one and 10 months (although current federal time limits apply). This type of insurance isn’t designed to provide the extensive, regular coverage that traditional coverage does. Instead, it’s designed to cover accidents, sudden illnesses or catastrophic medical events that you don’t see coming. Most policies don’t cover any pre-existing conditions.

You must be an Idaho resident and under the age of 65 in order to enroll in a short term healthcare plan in this state. The policies do not meet the requirement for minimum essential coverage required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Therefore, you could face a tax penalty if you don’t have additional insurance coverage. However, the tax penalty was zeroed out in a tax bill signed into law in 2017, effective 2019, leading many analysts to predict that more consumers will leave the insurance marketplace in favor of less costly short term plans.

With premiums rising as much as 24 percent in Idaho in 2017 and expected to rise again for next year, many consumers are seeking policies with lower monthly premiums, a benefit found in many short term health insurance plans.

In 2018, Idaho requested a waiver from the federal government allowing them to sell state-based plans that did not meet ACA requirements. CMS denied the request but suggested that Idaho make slight modifications to the policies so that they would meet the definition of short term plans. The Idaho plan would require insurers to offer an ACA-compliant plan in order to offer the state-based plans, a requirement that would continue should the state choose to modify the state plans into short term plans. In the letter denying the request, CMS indicated that the ACA was “not serving the people of Idaho well,” which is why they suggested modifications to make the state-based plan into short term policies.

Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Idaho

Blue Cross of Idaho

The IHC Group