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State of Idaho
700 West State Street, 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0043
Phone (208)334-4250
Fax (208)334-4398



November 5, 2013
CONTACT: Tricia Carney
cell 208-850-2342
Discontinuation of individual and small group health plans by Idaho carriers explained

BOISE ID (November 5, 2013) – Idaho consumers are beginning to receive letters from their insurance carriers informing them of the discontinuation of their individual health insurance policies. The Idaho Department of Insurance has answers to questions about the letters and consumer options.

“Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), everyone is required to have health insurance or pay a penalty,” Department Director Bill Deal said. “Most of the existing individual plans do not meet the criteria of health plans under the 2014 federal requirements.”

The Department issued Bulletin 13-01 to health insurance carriers on March 29, 2013, outlining their options regarding grandfathered and non-grandfathered health plans. Grandfathered plans are those that were issued prior to the implementation of the ACA in 2010 and that remained essentially unchanged. If consumers do not know if their policy is grandfathered, they should contact their insurance carrier.

Because existing policies generally do not meet the new federal requirements, insurance companies must discontinue offering and renewing all non-grandfathered plans after December 31, 2013. That means non-grandfathered policies with renewal dates after December 31, 2013, will not be renewed, but policyholders will be able to stay on their existing plan up to the renewal date, if they choose.

Grandfathered plans also may be discontinued with reasonable justification by the carrier and prior approval of the Department of Insurance. Carriers are required to notify policyholders of discontinuation (or nonrenewal) of plans at least 90 days prior to the date of discontinuation.

Consumers have been receiving letters from their carriers explaining the new options. Under the ACA, consumers cannot be denied coverage based on age or pre-existing conditions. Premiums will be determined based on age, geographic location and tobacco use.

Idahoans may qualify for premium subsidies and cost-sharing benefits when they purchase plans on Your Health Idaho – Idaho’s health insurance exchange, www.yourhealthidaho.org. Premium subsidies and cost-sharing benefits will be determined by income and family size.

Bulletin 13-01 can be viewed on the Department’s website, www.doi.idaho.gov. The Department encourages consumers to visit the website to learn more about the ACA. Consumers may call the Department, 334-4250 in the Boise area or 800-721-3272 toll-free statewide, with questions about this or other insurance topics.

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About the Department of Insurance
The Idaho Department of Insurance has been regulating the business of insurance in Idaho since 1901. The mission of the Department is to equitably, effectively and efficiently administer the Idaho Insurance Code and the International Fire Code. For more information, visit www.doi.idaho.gov.