BOISE -- Idahoans have just a few days to prepare for open enrollment in the state's new healthcare insurance exchange. The federally-mandated exchange will begin enrollment on October 1st.
Originally, five insurance companies planned to offer what would be a total of more than 160 health plans in the online YourHealthy Idaho exchange. Now, only four companies will do so and the total number of plans offered by the exchange has decreased.
That's because one company has since left the Idaho health care exchange. Altius, a subsidiary of Coventry HealthCare of Bethesda, Maryland, has withdrawn from the marketplace.
Bill Deal is the director of the Idaho Department of Insurance. Deal says the company's withdrawal has only a small impact on the number of plans offered by Idaho's exchange, and many choices still remain.
We had 161 plans, we're down to 146 plans, said Deal. So if you've gone on some of those websites and see the opportunities that you have to compare plans and compare prices, there's plenty of plans.
I think really if you compare Idaho to some of the other states that we have a exceedingly robust number of companies and a robust marketplace, Deal added. So we're pleased with that.
Representatives with Altius were unable to tell us why the company withdrew.
The majority off Idahoans without healthcare insurance have until January of 2014 to sign up, or potentially face penalties.
You can register and shop for plans on the Your Healthy Idaho exchange website.
For more information, see the Department of Labor's explanation of federal health care reform.