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Upcoming Health Care Changes

 by Rhiana Macaya Mitchell

Upcoming Health Care Changes

October 1st marked the first day of open enrollment opportunity for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange. The Exchange is also referred to as the Marketplace; so do not be confused by these two terms as they are one in the same. As of January 2014, federal law will require most Americans 18 years or older to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Some Idahoans already have health insurance provided through their job or receive Medicaid or Medicare benefits. Everyone else will be required to buy a plan for themselves.

If you currently have your insurance with a private plan, we will need to convert that plan as of the 2014 renewal to coverage that meets the required essential health benefits. Please contact Wood River Insurance to discuss this upcoming change and how it specifically relates to you!

In Idaho, the marketplace is called Your Health Idaho ( This is where you may go for news and updates, frequently asked questions, and actually apply for individual, family or small employer coverage. You may also find your eligibility for premium assistance, also called the Advance Premium Tax Credit. The initial enrollment opportunity for the first year of the ACA will be October 1st through March 31st, 2013. Any plan applied for October 1st through December 15th of 2013 will have an effective date of January 1st, 2014. After that point the effective dates will vary based on when the application process has been completed.

All plans offer the same standard coverage, known as essential health benefits, including visits to the doctor, emergency services and prescription drugs. Plans offered by Idaho carriers are grouped into four ‘metal levels’ based on the percentage of health care expenses each plan will cover. As your coverage increases, so does your monthly premium, but your costs are lower when you receive medical care.

We are here to assist you in this new, changing health insurance landscape. Whether you are an existing client or newly in need of coverage, let us help make this process clear and comfortable.

 Read more October Newsletter Articles here >