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low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to onlineadviser@live.com.

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 


Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

AUIC Deductible Supplement Insurance - three defined dollar benefit levels to add protection for unexpected hospital bills and other medical expenses left uncovered by primary insurance
AUIC Qualified Health Plan Supplement Insurance - no need to fear the out-of-pocket cost of doctor visits, hospital charges and other expenses left by primary medical coverage.
Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage
Dental, Vision and Hearing Insurance - no deductible option, use any dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician or audiologist, no networks!

Online Life Insurance

International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Idaho health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT   last updated: February 21, 2016

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Idaho had eight commercial health insurance companies that offered individual major medical insurance and 18 companies that issued small group insurance as well as a state-sponsored high risk health plan for applicants with pre-existing medical conditions. These standard policies may be more expensive than some residents can afford.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in Idaho can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. The state government is likely to expand its own insurance exchange system in cooperation with either the federal or private systems within the next few years.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information.

This Web page lists some of the most popular low cost commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org. Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

The federally mandate essential insurance benefit plans will be available through YourHealth Idaho Insurance Exchange web site. The state insurance exchange is open now for coverage starting January 2016. Individuals without insurance right now should make arrangements for temporary coverage through short term medical insurance until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any 2015 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.

low cost health insurance

Idaho insurance & benefit pricing

Idaho had the lowest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $10,837 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 29th out of the 51 states (including DC).
The state ranked #40 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Idaho regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval

Idaho insurance law requires a break in coverage of 63 days before you can reapply for a second policy with the same insurance company. For that reason, we suggest changing insurance companies if coverage is needed for longer than six months.

Immigrant Insurance

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Supplemental Accident Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.


low cost health insurance

Idaho insurance law and regulation

The Idaho Department of Insurance Web site contains the complete text of the state's insurance statutes as well as a section that announces and summarizes changes to legislation and administrative rules. Your Health Idaho state exchange opened in 2013.

Idaho also operates a Catastrophic Health Care program that acts as a loan program to pay the expenses of individuals without insurance but then the state places a lien on all assets and collects the money upon sale of the asset or death of the individual. 
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at 208-334-4250 or by mail at P. O. Box 83720 Boise, ID 83720. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Idaho Child.

Small business plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Idaho Insurance News

12/16/2014 The Idaho insurance exchange extended the deadline for applications for coverage starting January 1, 2015. Applications made by 12/20/2014 may request a starting date of January 1, 2015. The exchange remains open until February 15 for coverage starting in February and March 1

2/11/2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Idaho residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

12/14/2012 Idaho is one of a minority of states that will run a health insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses that is not managed by the federal government. Consumer advocates who once viewed a state-run exchange as a positive are growing concerned that the state may not be fully committed to implementing all of the funding and features expected to be part of the federal health insurance exchanges that are expected to open in the fall of 2013.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho and PacificSource Health Plans are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

10/17/2011 Idaho became the first state in 2011 to adapt a resolution to urgently request that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remove health insurance agent and broker commissions from the medical loss ratio (MLR) calculation; also strongly encouraging Congress to amend the Affordable Care Act to remove agent and broker commissions from the MLR calculation. The stare recognizes that insurance agents, advisers and navigators are more important now than ever before. Freedom Benefits believes that independent professional insurance advice is the single most important professional financial service that an individual can obtain.

10/10/2011 We received notice from Chartis (The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania) the state of Idaho is no longer eligible for any of their international travel insurance plans, in any direction, to or from the US or any other country. Retail plans to be included in this restriction: Liaison Majestic, Liaison Silver, Wander Frequent Traveler, and Disciple Missionary. Other international travel insurance plans remain available and we do not believe that Idaho consumers will be adversely affected by this singular change. We are concerned however, that if the recent trend of state legislative and interpretive enforcement actions continues to pull Idaho too far from the mainstream of U.S. consumer health insurance trends that the state's residents will have fewer low cost health insurance choices and they will ultimately pay more for their health insurance.

7/10/2011 The U.S. Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight announced that Idaho lacks proper resources or authority in the individual or small-group health insurance market to effectively review large rate increases as required by federal law. The federal government will temporarily take over the task of reviewing both individual and small business health insurance rate increases that are greater than 10%.

2/7/2011 The state's pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP) monthly premium rates (per person):

Plan/Age Band

0-18

19-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Standard

$133

$199

$239

$305

$424

Extended

$179

$268

$321

$410

$571

HSA

$138

$207

$248

$317

$441

PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available for you, beginning on your coverage effective date, even if it’s to treat a pre-existing condition - there are no waiting periods. PCIP applicants who are approved to participate in PCIP can choose from three plan options, with different levels of premiums, calendar year deductibles, prescription deductibles and prescription copays. The HSA Option provides an opportunity to open a Health Savings Account, a tax-exempt account where you can deposit funds for eligible medical expenses. Each of the three PCIP plan options provides preventive care (paid at 100%, with no deductible) when you see an in-network doctor and the doctor indicates preventive diagnosis. Included are annual physicals, flu shots, routine mammograms and cancer screenings. For other care, you will pay a deductible before PCIP pays for your health care and prescriptions. After you pay the deductible, you will pay 20% of medical costs in-network. The maximum you will pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a calendar year is $5,950 in-network/$7,000 out-of-network. There is no lifetime maximum or cap on the amount the plan pays for your care. If you apply for PCIP coverage on the government Web site, you will be billed for the premium once your application is approved. You will need to send in your payment in order for your coverage to be effective. Please do not send in the premium before you are billed. Note that your premium may increase if you age into a higher rate tier, or if PCIP adjusts its premiums to any changes in the commercial market.

12/16/2010 Idaho Department of Insurance officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, the Department of Insurance said that it would: 1) Conduct background research to establish scope and citizen impact, 2) Engage stakeholders and create strategies for continued engagement, 3) Evaluate existing government and non-government structures for opportunities to integrate these structures to support an Exchange, 4) Assess current and future resource needs and capabilities, 5) Create recommendations for governance structures, 6) Analyze accounting systems and methods to build on those systems, 7) Analyze existing technology, capacity and needed expansion, 8) Identify changes needed to existing technology and programs to accommodate the implementation of State Exchange, 9) Develop methods and resources needed to manage business operations for an Exchange, and 10) Identify needed enabling State legislation and regulations.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Idaho is now available at Freedom Benefits.


Mission Statement| Editorial Policy| Privacy Policy| About Freedom Benefits| News| Investors

This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.