BOISE -- It's been four months since Idahoans experienced the biggest change to health care in decades.

Over that time, we've heard from many Idahoans, both pleased with more affordable coverage, and those who saw their policy prices skyrocket.

KTVB has been working to uncover new details about our exchange by talking with those on the forefront, the insurance companies.

We sat down with a representative from each of the four companies offering plans on the exchange: Blue Cross of Idaho, PacificSource, SelectHealth, and BridgeSpan.

We asked each company key questions about how our state-run exchange is working so far, and what you need to know about Idaho's insurance marketplace.

The companies talked about four main points: participation, affordability, demographics, and a reminder that enrollment is still open.


Despite lawmakers' resistance to the affordable care act, you may be surprised to hear how Idaho's numbers stack up in comparison to other states.

Your Health Idaho tells us Idaho ranks 4th in the country for enrollment per capita.

Georganne Benjamin with BridgeSpan admits it was a difficult start but is impressed with how it's improved.

I think it started off a little bumpy, but things are starting to smooth out, said Benjamin.

All four insurance companies agree that despite the technology glitches in the beginning, Idaho's exchange has rebounded well.

Each company tells us enrollment has met their expectations.

Karen Early with Blue Cross of Idaho said, It's going very well, at Blue Cross of Idaho, it's going very well in terms of the people who have signed up.

The companies tell us they've seen enrollment numbers increase quickly ever since November.

I can't say I'm disappointed at all in the amount of participation we've seen so far, a lot of people have enrolled, said Jerry Edgington with SelectHealth.

The latest update from Your Health Idaho shows nearly 19,922 Idahoans have enrolled on the exchange.

Dave Self with PacificSource says our ranking as 4th in the country says a lot about Idaho's exchange.

That's a significant milestone for an exchange that really got underway last April, said Self.


While some of those enrollees have seen cheaper coverage, many have been shocked by skyrocketing rates.

Insurance companies tell us despite the title, this law is not necessarily aimed at affordability.

During our coverage of the exchange, we've talked with people, like Joel Lund, frustrated that his options on the exchange cost much more than his previous plan.

We're going to go from $770 a month which we were paying up until October, to about $1,300. I don't see how this helps, said Lund.

BridgeSpan says it's a common complaint and one with an easy answer.

The overall cost, in fact, has gone up, because there are more benefits and people do have access to more coverage and so with that comes increased costs, said Benjamin.

It's an issue insurance companies say has been a concern and will continue to be a concern, saying this reform is focused on access, not affordability.

The law really addressed access to health care, and it has not done much to address rising medical costs, said Benjamin.


Over the last few months, we've wondered who is signing up for coverage, and what plans they're choosing. While most carriers were unable to provide much information, we did get some new insight into the demographics.

Of the four typical plans offered on the exchange, all four companies agreed that the most popular plan has been the silver level.

People seem to gravitate to silver plans, and I think that's good because silver is kind of the middle of the road, not too rich, and it's not bare bones. It's a really good level of coverage, said Edgington.

SelectHealth was the only carrier who provided their enrollee information to us.

We've been pleased with enrollment so far, as of today, SelectHealth has 6,000 new members through the exchange, said Edgington.

Of those enrolling in the exchange, Edgington says the average age was 40.


The last detail insurance companies say you should know is a reminder that enrollment for this year is still open and will be until March 31.

They say regardless of your situation, you should at least check your options on the exchange, especially if you qualify for a subsidy, before the deadline.

Blue Cross of Idaho says one of their biggest challenges is making Idahoans understand that they could benefit from the exchange.

People don't even think that the system will work for them. They don't realize that they could get very affordable insurance, said Early.

SelectHealth says after the deadline, the companies will know more about how to improve the system.

They have to get enrolled by March 31st. At that time, I think everyone will take a deep breath, find out what worked well, what didn't work well, said Self.


The other big question is how many of the nearly 200,000 uninsured Idahoans have enrolled for coverage.

That's a question we still don't know the answer to. Insurers say they have no way to see how many of their enrollees were previously uninsured.

For more on what the carriers see as their biggest challenges, an explanation of prices, and a look at their goals for the future, check out this extended video clip to hear the answers:

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