In 2014, thousands of uninsured Idahoans automatically became eligible for assistance to help them purchase coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. This is keeping these middle-income families healthier and more financially secure.
However, thousands of Idahoans have been left out because they earn too little to qualify and can’t get covered through their jobs. Idaho has not yet taken action to make coverage available for this group of hardworking Idahoans who fall into the ‘coverage gap.’
A smart health care policy would fill this gap. The good news is that states have flexibility to come up with their own way of closing this gap, whether through new private options or existing programs, like Medicaid. Idaho has the opportunity to design its own plan—a plan that will work for Idaho.
Who Falls in the Coverage Gap in Idaho?
Idahoans in the gap can be food servers, receptionists, or seasonal construction and agricultural workers. They are our co-workers, neighbors and friends.
Read More About Idahoans in the Gap
We Need A Complete Solution to the Coverage Gap
We all want Idahoans to have access to affordable health care. Fortunately, over 70,000 Idahoans have been able to sign up for affordable coverage through the Your Health Idaho exchange. Many are concerned that Idahoans who earn lower wages are not eligible for this assistance and fall into what is known as the coverage gap.
The good news is that states have the flexibility to design their own approach to closing the coverage gap.
Watch our Video Explaining Idaho’s Policy Options
Good Health Policy is Good for Idahoans
Health insurance improves the lives of Idahoans through reducing illness, alleviating pain and suffering, diminishing missed time at work and decreasing job loss. Families with health insurance are also more likely to receive preventive medical care, avoiding more painful conditions and larger expenses down the road.
Closing the Gap is Good for Idaho’s Economy
Closing the gap would bring economic benefits to every region of the state, as the new dollars ripple through the local economies. When a health worker has her oil changed, goes out to lunch, or buys shoes for her kids, she will help fuel the local economy. Economists estimate that over the next 10 years Idaho would see nearly $700 million in new economic activity and nearly 15,000 new private sector jobs. To put that in perspective, Idaho had around 42,000 unemployed in January, 2014.
Closing the Gap is Good for Idaho’s Veterans
Idaho has the second-highest rate of uninsured veterans in the nation, with nearly 15 percent of our veterans lacking health insurance. This works out to 10,000 uninsured veterans who live in all parts of the state. Over 40 percent of veterans without health insurance report having untreated medical needs and roughly 15 percent face significant physical, mental, or emotional health problems.
New Materials for 2017
Federal Medicaid Funding Caps: Devastating to People with Disabilities, April 2017
Snapshot of Children’s Coverage: How Medicaid, CHIP & ACA Cover Children, March 2017
Understanding Medicaid Block Grants & Per Capita Caps, March 2017
Five Reasons the Healthcare Reform Bill is Bad for Children and Families, March 2017
Recommended Framework to Address Coverage Gap
Close the Gap’s Proposed Solution to the Coverage Gap
News Release on Announcement of 2016 Legislative Work Group
Chart Book Media Kit
Download a zipped folder of all the chart book graphics and tables in jpg format.
(Numbers in file titles indicate page number in chart book)
Faith Leaders for Closing the Gap
Idaho Voices for Closing the Gap
- We can make Idaho healthier. Dr. Kevin Rich. Idaho Statesman, Sunday, November 29, 2015
- The Human Cost. Dr. Kenneth Krell, Idaho Falls Post Register, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015
- In Memory of Jenny Steinke. Idaho Falls Post Register, December 6, 2015
- House editorial: An offer to Wayne Hoffman. Idaho Falls Post Register, December 23, 2015
- May the odds be in your favor: the 2016 Legislative session: Idaho Falls Post Register, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016
Five Key Facts on the Healthy Idaho Plan
Fact Sheet on the Coverage Gap
Fact Sheet on ACA Fee Exemptions
La Brecha de Cobertura para Familias en Idaho
Governor Otter’s Medicaid Redesign Workgroup
From the Disability Community and the Cancer Community
- A Perspective on Medicaid Redesign from the Idaho Disability Rights Community
- Cancer Action Network Poll Indicates Americans Favor Accepting Medicaid Dollars
Frequently Asked Questions
Other Idaho Voices for Redesign
- The Right Medicine for Idaho
- Catholic Charities Medicaid White Paper
- Medicaid Redesign: Better for Idaho taxpayers, businesses, and patients (From the Comprehensive Cancer Alliance for Idaho)
Voices from Other States
For Network Members Only
Closing the Gap won’t be easy, but we can do it! Here are several ways you can do you your part.
Read these letters of endorsement to find out why so many great organizations support Closing the Gap through the Healthy Idaho Plan.