The Idaho Department of Insurance is accepting public comments through June 30 on the state’s medical coverage choice waiver. The waiver, which is subject to federal approval, would allow Idahoans with incomes from 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to choose between enrolling in Medicaid, or receiving tax credits to reduce premiums for private health insurance.

The Department of Insurance plans to submit the waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and to the United States Department of the Treasury on or about July 15. The proposed effective date for the waiver is Jan. 1, 2020.

In November 2018, voters passed a proposition to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The Idaho legislature then passed SB1204aa, instructing the Department of Health and Welfare and the Department of Insurance to seek the coverage choice waiver. Without the waiver, individuals who are eligible for Medicaid cannot qualify for the premium tax credit.

People can comment on the waiver via email or USPS mail, or by attending a public hearing. The only hearing in Southwest Idaho is scheduled for June 24 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Department of Health & Welfare Westgate Office, Room 131, 1720 Westgate Drive in Boise. Comments can be emailed to DOI.Reform@doi.idaho.gov or sent by USPS mail to Product Review Bureau Chief, Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 83720; Boise, Idaho 83720-0043.

A copy of the waiver application is available on the department’s website at doi.idaho.gov/PublicInformation/PublicComments.

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