Board: Average policy costs $240 via Idaho insurance exchange

Health insurance policies sold via Idaho’s insurance exchange starting Jan. 1 will cost around $240 monthly, a figure based on packages submitted so far to the state Department of Insurance by insurers aiming to participate.

The figure, announced Thursday at an Idaho Insurance Exchange board meeting in Boise, is an average and doesn’t reflect actual costs for individual policy holders. That will depend on their financial circumstances, age, and the benefits package they choose via the exchange, the federally mandated Internet portal where individuals and businesses with fewer than 50 employees may purchase coverage.

But it offers a first glimpse of how President Barack Obama’s plan to provide health insurance coverage to more Americans will impact thousands of Idaho residents. The deadline to begin enrolling participants is Oct 1.

It’s unclear how many people will eventually use Idaho’s exchange, but the Department of Insurance estimates 190,000 residents will eligible.  Some 102,000 people from that group currently have no insurance.

About 88,000 already have insurance through individual plans, as opposed to coverage offered through Idaho companies or government. But as many as three-quarters of those in that group, roughly 66-thousand people, may be eligible for the federal subsidies, making them more likely to switch to a policy sold via the exchange.  (AP)

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