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Affordability move stymied by ‘snafu’

A new law designed to cover more uninsured Idahoans by letting more college students and young adults stay on their parents’ health plans has run into a glitch that’s rendering it inapplicable to most large health plans. “It’s a snafu on my part and on the part of bill-drafting,” said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, lead sponsor of SB 1105. The bill sought to allow unmarried dependents to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 21, or until 25 if the dependent is a full-time student. Previous law allowed that only until age 19, or 23 for full-time students. The change is designed to reduce the number of uninsured Idahoans. Cameron said the bill inadvertently referenced sections of Idaho Code that apply to individual and small-group insurance plans, but not those covering large group plans – those covering more than 50 employees.

The new law took effect July 1. Some insurance carriers, including Delta Dental, have said they’ll voluntarily comply with the intent of the law and extend the change to large group insurance plans as well as smaller ones. But at least one major carrier, Blue Cross, has declined to do so. “We are appealing to Blue Cross to reconsider their decision,” Cameron said. “We will propose legislation if necessary to address it.” Read my full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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