Idaho Reveals 2017 Health Insurance Rates: 24 Percent Higher for Individuals 

RYAN JOHNSON
  • Ryan Johnson
Saying that "the rate increases are definitely greater than we would like," Idaho Department of Insurance officials this morning revealed the 2017 approved health insurance rates for all individual and small group health plans.

Next year, officials said five carriers will offer 186 different medical plans in Idaho, with at least four companies offering coverage in each of Idaho's counties. 

In Ada County, rate increases for individuals run as high as 53 percent (a PacificSource Health "Silver" plan with a $3,000 deductible). Statewide, the average rate for individual plans to be offered on the state health exchange will run about 24 percent higher in 2017. The Idaho Department of Insurance granted Mountain Health CO-OP and SelectHealth the highest statewide average rate increases for individual plans (29 percent), followed by Regence BlueShield of Idaho (25 percent), BridgeSpan Health (23 percent), Blue Cross of Idaho (19 percent) and PacificSource Health (15 percent).

Earlier this year, Boise Weekly drilled into the plans offered on the state health exchange to reveal that, in 2016, a stunning 37 percent of all individual plans offered had deductibles of $5,000 or higher and out-of-pocket maximums were well north of $10,000, making the "affordable" part of the Affordable Care Act an oxymoron. 

"I wish I could tell the future. I can't," Department of Insurance Product Review Bureau Chief Wes Trexler told BW. "But in general, medical costs aren't going down. So, I would be surprised if insurance premiums were going down."

That forecast became reality this morning.

UPDATE: September 22, 2016 10 a.m.

In the wake of Thursday morning's announcement regarding Idaho health insurance premiums for 2017, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said "9 in 10 of Idaho consumers" accessing health plans through the state-run exchange access available tax credits. According to the HHS,  of the 94,270 Idahoans enrolled for 2016, 82,802 received an advance payment of the premium tax credit (APTC). 
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