Medical Minutes

The Affordable Care Act: Making It Work for You

Beginning in January 2014, most Americans over the age of 18 will be required to carry a health insurance plan. If you are under 26, you can stay on your parents plan if they have one. If you are not covered by your parent’s plan, an employer plan or through Medicaid, you will need to purchase a plan. The reality is that the Affordable Care Act is here, it is now time to take the next step and find out what it means for you, where to go when you need help and how can it be of benefit to you, your family and your business.

Mark your calendars, Portneuf Medical Center, along with the Idaho State Journal, are sponsoring the Pocatello Community Forum. The Forum will be held at 7:00pm on Monday, October 21, 2013 in the ISU Salmon River Room (in the Pond Student Union Building). Three panelists will be on hand to help you understand the Federal Affordable Care Act. Topics will include Affordable Care Act 101, key things to think about when buying health insurance, how to shop for, compare and choose a health plan that best fits your needs and budget, and how to access and navigate Your Health Idaho website –

Your Health Idaho, the online health insurance marketplace, was designed by Idahoans for Idahoans and is now available to help residents research and obtain affordable health care coverage. About 200,000 of Idaho’s 1.6 million residents are eligible to buy coverage in the exchange, which will also sell insurance to small businesses. While the state has some of the lowest insurance costs in the nation, it has an 18 percent uninsured rate, higher than the national average.

All insurance plans available through Your Health Idaho have been reviewed by the Idaho Department of Insurance to ensure that they meet the new minimum coverage requirements called Essential Health Benefits. These benefits include:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventative and wellness services including chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

With 146 plans available through Your Health Idaho, there is sure to be one to fit your needs. Eligible individuals and families may benefit from premium assistance and reduced cost-sharing options. Coverage through the Marketplaces will begin in every state in January 2014, with enrolment beginning October 1, 2013. It is important to note that those on Medicare will see no immediate or significant changes to their present benefits.

Questions about The Affordable Care Act?
Download this infographic.

We hope to see you at the informational forum on October 21st. If interested in learning more about the Your Health Idaho before the forum, you can shop online via Your Health Idaho Website or in-person/over the phone with Your Health Idaho Customer Connector. Call 855-YHIdaho (855-944-3246) to get more information or find assistance near you.