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Q & A: Can I buy medical insurance when Exchanges are closed?

Jan 10 2019 We printed this Q&A column in the Jan. 10, 2019 edition of The Lewiston Tribune. Q: Can I buy medical insurance when Exchanges are closed? A: The answer is “NO” – unless you qualify... more

103,000 sign up through Idaho Exchange for 2019

Jan 8 2019 More than 103,154 Idahoans enrolled in health insurance coverage for the 2019 plan year during open enrollment held from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, 2018, through Your Health Idaho, the state’s... more

ACA premium tax credits require 2017 tax filing

Jan 24 2018 The Idaho and Washington health exchanges are reminding area residents who have not yet filed a federal tax return to do so by the Tax Day deadline or risk losing access to future tax... more

Q & A: Can I buy subsidized Medical Insurance now?

Nov 10 2017 We printed this Q&A column in the Nov. 10, 2017 edition of The Lewiston Tribune. Q: Can I buy subsidized Medical Insurance now? A: Yes, ACA Health Exchanges are now open! Open... more

Shorter ACA Enrollment Period for 2018

Nov 6 2017 Individuals, small employers, employees, dependents, college students – anyone who relies on individual medical insurance coverage – must apply during open enrollment unless they are... more

ACA Premium Subsidies Continue

Nov 6 2017 Premium Subsidies Are Not Changed. To clarify, this information from recent news articles is NOT referring to the premium subsidies (tax credits) that lower the health insurance premiums... more

Update on ACA Exchanges

Nov 1 2017 Certified Health Agents Tim Gleason & Dave Root American Insurance is following the latest developments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the publication of this article,... more

Open Enrollment Time For ACA Medical And Medicare

Oct 12 2017 There are two “open enrollment periods” that are critically important for individuals and seniors. These limited time periods are the only times that new ACA (Affordable Care Act) Medical... more

Idaho Individual Medical Premiums Increase for 2018

Oct 12 2017 American Insurance health agents are certified to show all options to local clients. - Individual medical plan premiums through Your Health Idaho, the Idaho exchange, are going up in 2018.... more

Q & A: Can I buy subsidized Medical Insurance now?

Oct 10 2017 We printed this Q&A column in today's edition (on Oct. 10, 2017) of The Lewiston Tribune. Q: Can I buy subsidized Medical Insurance now? A: As you may have heard, the Affordable Care... more

Q & A: What is the status of Obamacare?

Dec 10 2016 We printed this Q&A column in the Dec. 10, 2017 edition of The Lewiston Tribune. Q: What is the status of Obamacare? - A: It may take as long as three years for the Trump / Republican... more

Q&A: When can I buy individual medical insurance?

Nov 10 2016 We printed this Q&A column in the Nov. 10, 2017 edition of The Lewiston Tribune. Q: When can I buy individual medical insurance? - A: You can only buy or change your individual medical... more

Medical premium, network changes for 2017

Nov 1 2016 Major changes in medical premiums and provider networks are coming in 2017. Open enrollment began Nov. 1 in the Idaho and Washington Health Exchange Marketplaces. Anyone who needs or is... more

'Grandmothered' health plans ending

Aug 31 2016 Days are numbered for “grandmothered” small group medical plans. The so-called “grandmothered” medical plans are those small groups purchased from March 23, 2010 to Oct. 1, 2013 that are... more

Scam alert - Health insurance enrollment

Aug 10 2016 The Idaho Department of Insurance is alerting Idaho residents about a possible scam by a company using deceptive practices to market health insurance in Idaho. Your Health Idaho, Idaho’s... more

Premera’s new bill pay portal opens

Jul 21 2016 Premera Blue Cross has launched a new, easy-to-use bill payment portal for their members. Customers who currently pay their bills online will receive an email notifying them of the new... more

Helping businesses find health coverage for employees

Feb 1 2016 Local agents with AMERICAN INSURANCE in Lewiston can help area business owners find qualified individual health insurance coverage for your employees, their spouses and dependents to meet... more

New Flu Drug Funded by HHS

Sep 29 2015 A new drug provides a novel approach to treating patients with influenza and will advance in development with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the... more

Student health insurance options explained

Aug 6 2015 Lewis-Clark State College will no longer offer a Student Health Insurance Program (or SHIP) this fall, due to a change by the Idaho State Board of Education. Other regional schools that... more

7 Tips for Managing Stress

Jul 28 2015 We can all use some help managing stress in our lives. Here are 7 very practical, free and easy tips for managing daily anxieties from Business Psychology Associates (BPA). THE BINGE &... more

ACA Exchange Subsidies Secured - Supreme Court

Jun 25 2015 The latest legal attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. In KING v. BURWELL, plantiff's argued that the... more

ACA Health Exchanges - More Savings & Options

Dec 4 2014 New choices and more competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace are giving consumers affordable options during Open Enrollment this year, and the majority of returning consumers who... more

ACA $840M Initiative Focused on Health Outcomes

Oct 23 2014 A new initiative will change the way your doctor and health care providers delivery their services to you. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced an initiative that... more

Action Needed to Renew WA Healthplanfinder

Oct 20 2014 If you are currently enrolled in a health care plan through Washington Healthplanfinder, you will need to renew your coverage for next year. Customers who signed up for a Qualified Health... more

Hospitals May Recover $5.7B Due To ACA

Sep 26 2014 A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services projects that hospitals will save $5.7 billion this year in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act (... more

"Limited" ACA Special Enrollment for WA Residents

Sep 11 2014 Up to 8% of the 164,000 Health Exchange customers of the Washington HealthPlanFinder experienced on-going billing and administrative problems. This caused some Washington residents to go... more

Idaho Health Exchange Getting Ready

Sep 8 2014 The Idaho Health Exchange, Your Health Idaho, is preparing to launch its own state exchange software platform prior to the 2015 Open Enrollment which begins on November 15, 2014. Last year,... more

Oregon's Health Website Woes Spark Lawsuit

Aug 26 2014 reports that the state of Oregon filed a lawsuit Friday against Oracle Corp. and several of its executives over the technology company's role in creating the troubled... more

2015 Health Care Costs Rising

Aug 21 2014 Large U.S. employers expect a significant increase in 2015 health care costs. If no adjustments are made employers project a 5.2% growth rate, putting absolute cost per person for health... more

Obamacare ACA Federal Subsidies At Risk

Jul 22 2014 A US appeals court ruled against Obamacare subsidies for policies issued through the Federal Health Exchanges. In the case, Halbig v. Sebelius, 14-5018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the... more

COBRA Enrollees Get Limited ACA Access

May 23 2014 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently announced a new Special Enrollment Period for individuals and families that are currently enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage, known as... more

Buying Individual Medical Plans After Open Enrollment?

May 14 2014 When "Open Enrollment" is closed, individuals seeking medical insurance can only do so if they have a "Qualifying Life Event" which opens a "Special Enrollment Period" (SEP). If you qualify... more

Keeping "Grandmothered" Health Plans Extended

May 14 2014 Keeping your current non-grandfathered individual or small group medical plan (also referred to as "grandmothered" plans) has been extended for policies with annual renewals on or before... more

Alzheimer's - What is our National Plan?

Apr 29 2014 Nearly all of us know someone that is touched by the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease. You may find some comfort to know that there is a National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease with a... more

Agents Credited For Idaho's ACA Success

Apr 23 2014 "Idaho's success in enrolling consumers during the 2014 enrollment period is due, in no small part, to the many Idaho insurance agents and brokers who provided invaluable assistance to... more

HIPAA Fines of $2M for Stolen Laptops

Apr 22 2014 Two entities have paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) $1,975,220 collectively to resolve potential violations of the Health Insurance... more

Be Healthy From The Start

Apr 7 2014 "Be Healthy From the Start" is the main theme for National Public Health Week, April 6 - 12. HHS credits the Affordable Care Act's establishment of preventative services and the new... more

ObamaCare Open Enrollment Closed! Sort Of?

Apr 3 2014 An extended "Special Enrollment Period" was announced by The White House to allow more time to finish health insurance enrollments with glitches or other special circumstances. The Health... more

Health Exchange "Open Enrollment" Closing

Mar 9 2014 What happens when the Health Exchange Marketplace "Open Enrollment Period" closes on March 31st? This is the next question as American's struggle to understand and comply with the massive,... more

Keep Your Current Health Plan Extended

Mar 7 2014 The "keep your current health insurance plan" promise by President Obama is being extended even further. The Obama administration announced that Americans can keep their health plans that... more

Regence - Can I Keep My Plan?

Dec 12 2013 Can I keep my plan? It depends says the Regence Group which does business in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah. - Fall 2013 promised to be a dynamic time in the rollout of the Affordable... more

Only Agents Can Explain Exchange Plans

Oct 24 2013 The Idaho and Washington State Health Exchanges including their navigators (online and phone assistants) will not explain or recommend any insurance plans offered in the exchanges. They... more

Who Needs Health Exchange Quotations?

Oct 23 2013 The new Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace isn't just for the uninsured! Almost everyone needs to take a serious look at their own state's Health Exchange Marketplace before January 1,... more

$3.9B Health Premiums Saved In 2012

Jul 19 2013 The Obama administration claims that consumers saved $3.9 billion on their premiums in 2012 due to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Department of Health and Human... more

ACA Employer Mandate Delayed Until 2015

Jul 2 2013 The penalties imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on large employers (50+ employees) has been delayed one year in an announcement by the Treasury Department for the Obama... more

Hospital Charges Exposed & Vary Widely

May 10 2013 New data shows significant variation across the country and within communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient services. Also, HHS made approximately $87 million available to... more

Health Centers Funded For AFA Enrollment

May 10 2013 Republicans renew call to repeal the entire healthcare law while the Obama administration is providing $150 million for health centers to offer Affordable Health Care (AHC) enrollment... more

New Health Care Apps Shorter

May 6 2013 Now a new series of shorter and easier applications have been released by CMS. Stinging from criticism that the new Health Care applications were too long and too complicated, the Obama... more

Health Agents Play Critical Role

May 1 2013 Agents and brokers will play a critical role in helping consumers access health insurance coverage through Affordable Insurance Exchanges or Health Insurance Marketplaces, according to an... more

Quiz Yourself On Health Reform

Apr 23 2013 Test your knowledge on key items from The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The health reform law promises to deliver big changes in the U.S. health care system. But, as... more

Health Reform Hits Main Street - Kaiser

Apr 23 2013 Confused about how the new health reform law really works? Get answers in just 9 minutes by watching this animated movie from The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation. Click Health Reform Hits... more

Heath Care Reform Overview - ADP

Apr 8 2013 A free replay of the webinar "Health Care Reform: Strategies to Help Control Costs, Mitigate Risk, & Decrease Penalties," has been made available by ADP ®, a leading provider of... more

Feds To Pay 100% New Medicaid Cost

Apr 1 2013 The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of certain newly eligible adult Medicaid beneficiaries effective January 1, 2014. The final rule was announced today by Health and... more

32% Rise in Health Claims Projected

Mar 27 2013 Health claim costs per member, per month for non-group individual health insurance plans will increase 32% under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a key finding in the Society of Actuaries... more


Mar 13 2013 Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter needs citizen support in his battle for a state-based Health Exchange. After winning a hard fought battle in the Idaho House on Wednesday, the legislation... more

5 Key Health Care Provisions Finalized

Feb 26 2013 A final rule that implements five key consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act were issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). "Because of the Affordable... more

Final Rules for "Essential" Health Benefits

Feb 22 2013 Final rules for "essential" health benefits were announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The rule outlines health insurance issuer standards for a core package of... more

Only 11 States Pass Health Care Regs

Feb 1 2013 Only 11 of the 50 US states have moved to implement new consumer safeguards under President Barack Obama's healthcare law according to this Reuters report posted today by Insurance Journal.... more

Idahoans Action Needed For State Health Exchange

Jan 29 2013 Governor Butch Otter is appealing to all Idahoans for help passing legislation for a state based health insurance exchange. Facing opposition from far-right legislators Otter has taken the... more

Just 15 States Opt For State Health Exchanges

Dec 13 2012 Only 15 U.S. states so far plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting prospect of creating and operating the... more

Health Care Reform - A Closer Look

Nov 29 2012 It appears that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is here to stay. It survived the constitutional challenge in the US Supreme Court and the electoral challenge with the... more

Pre-Existing Condition Discrimination Banned

Nov 25 2012 The Obama administration moved forward to implement provisions in the health care law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing... more

Medicare Part D Rx Premiums Hold Steady

Aug 7 2012 Basic premiums for Medicare prescription drug plans, on average, are projected to remain constant in 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius announced today. The... more

8 New Preventative Services Free For Women

Aug 3 2012 Women are getting access to eight new prevention-related health care services free beginning Aug. 1, 2012 announced Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The new... more

Regence Rebates Money to Small Groups

Jul 18 2012 The first Medical Loss Ratio rebate checks were mailed to small groups insured by Regence BlueShield of Idaho on July 16th. This is a rebate on their 2011 premium under the Affordable Care... more

Health Savings Account Use Jumps 18%

Jun 19 2012 More than 13.5 million Americans are now covered by Health Savings Account (HSA)-eligible insurance plans, a more than 18 percent increase since last year, according to a new census... more

Doctor Groups Call For LESS Care!

Jun 15 2012 Three different physician events saw national doctor groups calling for less medical care. In a bold and unprecedented announcement, they say doctors need to use clinical evidence to make... more

New pain meds approved to lessen abuse

May 30 2012 Skyrocketing costs for opioid pain management and abuse is damaging the health care and workers compensation systems. Dan Reynolds, managing editor of Risk & Insurance writes "An... more

What is driving health care spending?

May 23 2012 The newly formed Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) compared data from 2009 to 2010 showing that pure price increases for care rather than increased utilization is driving spending higher.... more

WA & OR Take Health Exchange Grants

May 17 2012 Washington and Oregon were among the six new states to take Health Exchange grants to implement the new health care law. Idaho, a highly conservative and Republican majority state, snubbed... more

Obesity's Heavy Health Care Cost

May 15 2012 Obesity now accounts for almost 21 percent of U.S. health care costs -- more than twice the previous estimates, reports a revised Cornell University study. The research, originally done in... more

Healthcare Costs Now Exceed $20,000 Per Family - Milliman Study

May 15 2012 A typical American family of four receiving healthcare through an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan now pays $20,728. This according to the latest study by... more

4th Leading Cause of Death Is?

May 3 2012 1 in 3 U.S. adults-an estimated 68 million of us-have this and it is the "silent killer". Untreated high blood pressure, also called hypertension can damage the heart, brain, and kidneys... more

Idaho's Health Insurance Exchange - On Hold

Apr 19 2012 What is the status of the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange? The US Supreme Court will be making its decision in June whether all, part or none of the Affordable Care Act will stand as... more

WA Gets $6.6M Health Care Grant

Apr 13 2012 Ten states including Washington State received grants to provide early childhood support and home visits to families who volunteer to receive these services, Health and Human Services (HHS)... more

New Health Care Rule Saves $4.6B

Apr 11 2012 A proposed rule that would establish a unique "health plan identifier" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was announced today by Department of... more

New Health Exchange Rules Released

Mar 13 2012 New rules released today will offer states substantial flexibility as they design a health insurance exchange marketplace that works for their residents. The Idaho Legislature said "no... more

Lifetime Limits For Health Plans End

Mar 6 2012 The maximum benefit limits under medical insurance plans for an individual's lifetime have been eliminated under the Affordable Care Act. "For years, Americans with lifetime caps imposed on... more

Which Health Services Are Now Free?

Feb 16 2012 Don't forget you have free preventative services to use in 2012! "Americans of all ages can now get the preventive services they need, like mammograms and the new Annual Wellness Visit,... more

"Plain Language" Health Policies Required

Feb 10 2012 Do you have trouble understanding health insurance? People in the market for health insurance will soon have clear, understandable and straightforward information on what health plans will... more

States To Decide “Essential Health Benefits”

Dec 16 2011 In a surprise move, the Obama Administration has announced that each state can decide what "essential health benefits" will be offered in their state Health Care Exchanges beginning in 2014.... more

Affordable Care Act vs Supreme Court 2012

Dec 11 2011 The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitution issues of the Affordable Care Act. The court will hear oral arguments in March and then is expected to render a decision in June... more

Idaho Receives Health Exchange Grant

Dec 1 2011 Idaho is one of 13 new states to receive grants to help them create Health Insurance Exchanges. The Affordable Care Act mandates that every state have a Health Insurance Exchange, either a... more

2012 Health Care Changes

Nov 15 2011 The Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010. The law's provisions are being implemented on a timeline through January 1, 2015. There are four new items being added in 2012. A brief... more

Medicare's Physician Fees Need Fixed

Nov 2 2011 Physicians have faced steep payment cuts annually because of a flawed 1997 law according to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary... more

2012 Medicare Part B Premiums Lower

Oct 28 2011 Medicare Part B premiums in 2012 will be lower than previously projected and the Part B deductible will decrease by $22 according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and... more

ObamaCare Heads to Supreme Court

Sep 29 2011 The Obama administration is asking the US Supreme Court to decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act . Political battle lines were drawn since the Act was signed into law in March 2010. As... more

Medicare Annual Election Starts & Ends Early

Sep 15 2011 This year marks an important change in Medicare's annual open enrollment, the time period during which people can choose to change plans or shift from Medicare Advantage to Traditional... more

New-Women Get Preventative Services At No Additional Cost

Aug 2 2011 Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).... more

What did health insurance cost us in 2010?

Jul 15 2011 The median premium cost per employee was $400 per month under private-sector group health insurance plans in 2010 according to a survey just released by the US Dept of Health & Human... more

Obama Care - One Year Later

Mar 25 2011 March 23rd marked the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The date was marked with numerous events on Capitol Hill and around the country, some... more

9 Million Lose Health Benefits

Mar 16 2011 An estimated 9 million working-age adults became uninsured last year due to recession job losses according to the new Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The recession... more

Health Insurance - Employers Taking Bold Action

Mar 10 2011 Employers are taking bold action to manage health care costs and offer affordable care according to the National Business Group on Health Survey just released by Towers Watson. Over the... more

Oregon Gets $48M Health Exchange Grant

Feb 28 2011 Oregon is one of seven states awarded "Early Innovator" grants to design and implement the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needed to operate Health Insurance Exchanges as part of... more

11 Issues Impact Work Comp in 2011

Jan 24 2011 Every business owner will be impacted by the troubles brewing in workers compensation insurance. Among the top trends identified to watch are - medical costs continue to rise, injured... more

5 Facts About the Uninsured for Health Insurance

Nov 12 2010 The number of uninsured rose sharply in 2009, reaching 50 million people. Decreasing the number of uninsured is a key goal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will... more

Denied Health Claims Subject to Review

Nov 5 2010 If you have a health claim denied in Idaho you have the right to the have the decision independently reviewed. This independent review process was instituted as part of Idaho's Health... more

Free Medical Clinic Open for Uninsured

Oct 25 2010 The area's only free medical clinic is serving the uninsured and medically needy of the Lewiston-Clarkston valley. The Snake River Community Clinic (SRCC) has limited hours on Tuesday and... more

Auto Claims Fraud by Medical Providers Rampant

Oct 21 2010 Higher auto insurance rates for New Yorkers is blamed on rampant fraud by unscrupulous medical providers. Health care costs for automobile accident victims in New York increased 42 percent... more

Professional Liability Costs Rising for Hospitals and Physicians

Oct 13 2010 Hospitals and physicians should prepare for increasing liability costs, according to the 2010 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis created by Aon Risk... more

Insurers Spend Millions on Reform Changes

Oct 6 2010 Tens of millions of dollars are being spent by insurance companies to comply with Health Care Reform. September 23rd was a major deadline, ushering in new health benefits for consumers... more

Crack down of medical premium hikes funded by HSS

Aug 16 2010 Idaho, Washington and Oregon receive $1M each to police unjustified health insurance premium increases. The Department of Health and Human Services announced the award of $46 million in... more

New AMA Study: 95 medical liability claims per 100 physicians

Aug 3 2010 On average there is nearly one medical liability claim for every physician. This is one cost driver of higher medical fees passed on to consumers. The AMA reports the high number of claims... more

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Signed into Law

Jul 20 2010 President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010 H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This sweeping and controversial reform law includes many provisions that will... more

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