Idaho health care stakeholders respond to Idaho Health Care Plan

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 23:51:48-05

As 6 On Your Side reported, Governor Otter issued an executive order on health care.

The Governor is expected to deliver a new plan that will offer more options outside of Obamacare with the goal of cutting coverage requirements in order to cut prices.

The state regulated plan falls outside of the Affordable Care Act requirements but leaders said it will be a cost effective options for Idahoans seeking coverage. 

At a press conference following Governor Otter’s State of the State address, Idaho health care stakeholders from Close the Gap Idaho responded to the Governor backed health care proposal known as the Idaho Health Care Plan. 

“We want to live in a state where you can get necessary care without bankrupting your family. The Idaho health care plan brings us closer to that ideal,” explained Idaho Voices for Children Director Lauren Necochea.

Nechochea said that if passed, the plan would result in 35,000 uninsured Idahoans becoming eligible for tax credits to purchase health coverage, while a limited number of adults with serious health conditions would move to Medicaid which they said would lower health insurance premiums for everyone in the private individual market.

“The Idaho health care plan is not a compete solution to the coverage gap,” said Nechochea. “But it will allow Idaho to see some of the benefits including savings in our indigent care system and reductions in health care premiums.”

Others were not as optimistic about the executive order. A representative for the Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health said one of the things that is going to be missing from the plan is behavioral health and mental health benefits for people with severe illness like Schizophrenia.

Others still have a lot of questions.

“We at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and I think many other health care advocates really want to know what essential benefits the governor, the lieutenant governor, the Director of Insurance Dean Cameron, think are no longer essential to idahoans,” said Luke Cavener with the American Cancer Society. 

While many applaud the Governor’s efforts, saying it’s a step in the right direction, they said there are still a lot of unanswered questions and many people left in the gap.