Sunday, November 16, 2014

Idaho Health Exchange 2.0 Runs Smoothly on Day One; But Washington Shuts Down Insurance Site After Major Bug

Posted By on Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

By most accounts, things went smoothly Saturday as Idaho launched its own version of an online insurance marketplace—a linchpin of the Affordable Care Act. Things in Washington state? Not so much.

In the Boise offices of Your Health Idaho, officials called the Nov. 15 opening day of the Idaho-created exchange "absolutely flawless," according to the Associated Press

As many as 200 unique combinations from nine different carriers are offered in this year's exchange. Seven carriers that sold plans in 2014 will continue to sell plans through the exchange, including BEST Life and Health Insurance Company, Blue Cross of Idaho, BridgeSpan Health Company, Delta Dental of Idaho, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, PacificSource Health Plans and SelectHealth, Inc. They're joined this year by Mountain Health Co-Op and Willamette Dental. 

Every health insurance plan sold on Your Health Idaho must cover a certain set of services known as essential health benefits. These include hospitalization, emergency services, prescription drugs, preventative and wellness care, pediatric care, maternity care, ambulatory patient services, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, rehabilitative care and laboratory services

No word yet on how many people accessed or secured coverage on the Idaho exchange Saturday. Officials said they'll be providing monthly numbers through the process, which wraps up Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, it was nothing but headaches over in Washington state, where officials had to shut down their exchange two-and-a-half hours after it launched. Washington officials say tax credits weren't calculating properly and they would need to shut down until they could fix the bug.

In spite of the problem, Washington officials still chose to be rosy.

"The site worked so much better than last year," said spokesman Michael Marchand.

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