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Health care deadline extended by one week

| December 14, 2021 1:00 AM

BOISE – Today, the state health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, announced a one-week extension for the 2022 health insurance open enrollment period. Idahoans who do not have benefits through their employer and are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare now have until Dec. 22 to enroll. Those that apply by the deadline will have health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Your Health Idaho executive director, Pat Kelly, said the decision to extend the deadline was made to ensure Idahoans have enough time to apply for a tax credit and select a plan for 2022.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen some delays in application processing this year, and we want to be absolutely certain that any Idahoan who wants coverage beginning Jan. 1, has all the information and resources necessary to make an informed decision about their coverage,” said Kelly.

Kelly said the delays are due in large part to staffing shortages coupled with an increase in new customers seeking coverage with the recently expanded tax credits.

“While we are thrilled to see so many new Idahoans applying for coverage through the exchange, we have had to balance increased demand against the same staffing challenges many Idaho businesses are currently facing,” said Kelly. “By extending the deadline, we hope to give Idahoans a few extra days to make final plan selections and ensure their 2022 tax credits are intact.”

Tax credit eligibility is based on several factors like household size and income. The process to verify that information can take several days, contributing to the delay in processing time.

Despite the delay, Kelly said applying for the tax credit is worth the effort. More than 80 percent of enrolled Idahoans qualify for a monthly tax credit that acts like an instant discount and can significantly lower premium payments. In 2021, one in three Idahoans who qualified for the tax credit paid $0 per month for coverage.

At YourHealthIdaho.org, Idahoans who are unsure if they qualify for lower cost coverage can use the Tax Credit Estimator to get an idea of how much they could save on health insurance. Then, they can shop and compare a record number of plans and seek out free expert help when they’re ready to enroll.

Idahoans who want health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022, must submit their application for a tax credit and enroll by Wednesday, Dec. 22, and make their first premium payment as soon as possible.

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