What Idaho Residents Need to Know About Obamacare
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.
This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:
- whether or not you must get health insurance
- what the available plans cover
- how much coverage will cost
- how to sign up for a plan
- how to get help if you need it.
To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Idaho:
1. For 2018, you are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption. This will change next year.
For 2018, the Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for an exemption from the law. You must report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in April.
For 2019, the law will no longer require you to have health coverage. It remains to be seen how this will affect health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.
To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Idaho?
2. Open enrollment has ended for 2018 health care plans, but you can still get health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
For 2018, Idaho's open enrollment period ended on December 15. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception, you can't obtain health insurance through Your Health Idaho until the 2019 open enrollment period begins in the fall of 2018.
To find out more, including ways you might still get covered, see What Happens If I Missed the Idaho Obamacare Enrollment Deadline?
3. Tax credits are still available to save you money.
Many people who sign up for insurance at the Idaho exchange will be eligible for cost savings. For 2018 health insurance plans, savings are available in the form of tax credits to help you lower your premiums.
In addition, if your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Idaho.
For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Idaho.
4. Idaho's Governor has given insurers permission to sell plans that don't meet Obamacare's rules.
Blue Cross has already said they will sell these leaner, cheaper plans. However, it isn't clear whether the plans are legal, because they allow insurers to do things like charge more for people with pre-existing conditions or eliminate coverage for certain categories of care, like maternity coverage. At this point, the best you can do is educate yourself and see where the rules stand when you're next ready to buy an insurance plan.
5. You can get help signing up if you need it.
You may have heard that it will be more difficult to find enrollment help this year. That's because the Trump administration has drastically cut funding for the programs that provide enrollment help in many states. The good news is that Idaho doesn't rely on federal funding for its outreach and enrollment assistance programs so you still have many options for free help.
In Idaho, the average premium increase will be 27 percent for 2018. Because of this, it makes especially good sense to get help finding the best plan and making sure you're getting any subsidy help for which you qualify.
For the help resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Idaho.
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