The Idaho Health Insurance Exchange is open for business today (Nov. 15). Idaho is one of a dozen states choosing to run its own.
Here’s what’s new this year:
A different website: The exchange website will look a little different. It can be found at yourhealthidaho.org.
More plans: Idahoans will have 198 health plans, or 52 more than last year.
Premiums: Premiums vary depending on age, tobacco use and location in the state. However, the statewide average for a 35-year-old nonsmoker (who is buying a second-least expensive plan) is $233.
Premium Fees: Idaho’s health exchange board approved to charge 1.5 percent on premiums to cover the site’s overhead costs. That’s lower than the federal 3.5 percent fee. Officials say they are still determining if the 1.5 percent fee will be enough to make the site self-sustaining when Idaho can no longer rely on federal funding in 2016.
Penalty Fees Increase: Starting in 2015, those who don’t have health insurance may have to pay a slightly higher penalty than in 2014. Next year, the penalty is $325 per adult ($12.50 per child) or 2% of income. However, the maximum penalty per family is $975. In 2016, it becomes $695 per adult, or 2.5% of income.
The enrollment period ends in three months on Feb. 15, 2015.