With the federal health insurance exchange website's hiccups behind it, Idahoans have evidently begun to flock to the state-based exchange, Your Health Idaho, quadrupling the number of plans selected by residents at the site in the last 30 days.
As of Dec. 11, 9,505 applications for health insurance plans have been completed on the site. Those applications represent 15,048 Idahoans, 7,133 of whom have been deemed eligible for financial assistance with their health plans.
Your Health Idaho has already seen its fair share of controversy, with board member Frank Chan leaving the exchange after the company he founded, Applied Computing, was awarded a $375,000 contract with Your Health Idaho. The exchange has also become a core issue for gubernatorial candidate Republican Sen. Russ Fulcher, who has said he is opposing Gov. Otter's reelection on account of his (reluctant) establishment of the state exchange.
In November, Boise Weekly caught up with Your Health Idaho Executive Director Amy Dowd to find out more about the then-embattled federal website and learn about key issues facing Idaho's exchange. When we spoke with Dowd, 338 Idahoans had selected plans from Idaho insurance carriers through the Your Health Idaho site. Today, that number is 1,730.
"This is a marathon, not a sprint," Dowd said.