BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) — Beginning Nov. 1, Idahoans can purchase health and dental insurance for 2017 on the state-based health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho.
According to a press release from Your Health Idaho, the exchange is the only place in the state where individuals can purchase health insurance and receive a tax credit to help offset the costs of their monthly premium. Customers can save up to 70 percent or more on their insurance each month with a tax credit.
While the rates for many health insurance plans are increasing next year, tax credits are also increasing to stay in line with premiums and keep the cost of insurance more predictable. For example, in 2017, the average monthly health insurance premium for a 35-year-old receiving a tax credit will increase by just $2 a month, if they are enrolled in the second lowest cost silver plan. "Premiums, networks, and plans change every year, which makes it critical to comparison shop on the exchange if you want to find the best deal," said Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho.
During this open enrollment period, Idahoans will have more choice than ever before with 225 different plans to choose from. For the first time, Idahoans will also be able to use a network size indicator to compare plans. This tool allows customers to get a better sense of how many doctors and hospitals would be included in their plan's network, according to the exchange.
During 2016, more than 95,000 Idahoans enrolled in health insurance coverage through the state's exchange. These customers have been automatically renewed for coverage in 2017. If existing customers want to make changes to their plan, they can do so during the open enrollment period.
Nearly 90 percent of Your Health Idaho customers received a tax credit to help lower their health insurance premiums during 2016, according to the exchange.
"Idahoans may be surprised to learn they are eligible for these savings," said Kelly. "It only takes a few minutes to go onto our website and discover if you are eligible for a tax credit. Some people believe health insurance is out of reach and something they cannot afford. However, with the available tax credits, we hope even more Idahoans will discover how affordable health insurance coverage can be."
Open enrollment runs Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. Idahoans who want coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2017, must enroll by Dec. 15, 2016, to avoid any lapse in coverage. It is important to know, individuals who can afford health insurance but choose not to may face a significant tax penalty this year.
There are hundreds of certified agents and brokers available to help Idahoans find the right health and dental insurance plan to fit within their budget. It is free for Idahoans to work with an agent or broker.
To find an agent or broker near you, visit YourHealthIdaho.org and click on "find help near you."