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Idahoans wait for state to decide fate of insurance plans

By Kaitlin Loukides
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:56:53 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 06:06:00 PM CST

Health insurance agents wait to hear what the state decides when it comes to existing health insurance plans

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Idaho is still deciding what to do about the recent rule changes to the Affordable Care Act, since many folks will be forced to change from their existing health care insurance plans after one year.

When Americans started getting cancellation notices for their current plan, there was outrage that a promise had been broken. That promise made by President Barack Obama stated that if they like their plan, they can keep it.

President of Semons Financial Group Mark Semons said most insurance agents' hands are tied until the state decides whether or not to allow people to keep their existing plan for the next year.

"We are just trying to anticipate with a crystal ball that we don't have as to what the future will even look like," Semons said.

He said people staying on their existing plans is problematic because insurance companies already priced their products for the new exchange, and this sense of back-pedaling will not allow their pricing to adequately cover the claims they will incur.

So, even though the old insurance plan might be the best option for some people, insurance companies will end up paying the price. With the fate of insurance businesses looming, this could cost the entire healthcare system.

"They have done everything they need to be able to re-tool, be up to speed, and be ready. Now they're ready, but (they government) is saying, 'Oh, just got back and keep all of that in place.'"

University Financial Group insurance agent Jesse Arnoldson also explained how this could be a problem.

"By letting a lot of people keep their old plan, it undercuts what they are trying to do with the new exchange pool," Arnoldson said. "Where you allow more and more people to come out of that pool and stay back where they were takes the legs out from under what they're trying to do."

 Arnoldson noticed a significant number of people who have been coming to his office, confused and wondering what they should do with their existing plans. He said much of the confusion also stems from the poor technology set up during the messy roll-out.

"Without being able to know what plans are being offered at what prices for sure, that's when all of these problems come up and people say, 'Oh, maybe I just want to stay on my existing plan,  I don't want to go with the change, the change isn't working and the technology isn't working.'"

Although Semons and Arnoldson are waiting to see what the state's next move will be, right now their hands are tied, and they hope lawmakers will be able to come up with a stable plan that will benefit everybody.


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