The Slatest

Idaho Is Ignoring the Affordable Care Act by Telling Insurers They Can Charge More for Pre-Existing Conditions

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter in 2014.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter in 2014.
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Hey, wait a minute … you can’t do that:

In a bulletin issued Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Insurance said that it would allow insurers in the state to begin offering “state-based plans” to consumers. These products could leave out some of the benefits mandated by the ACA for individual coverage. Insurers would be able to consider enrollees’ medical history in setting their premiums, a practice known as underwriting, which isn’t authorized under the ACA.

That’s from the Wall Street Journal, and in other words, Idaho will be ignoring the Affordable Care Act’s popular provision that prevents price discrimination against individuals with “pre-existing” health conditions. Why would they think they could get away with this? Perhaps because the body responsible for enforcing the ACA is the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which is part of the executive branch, which is led by a noted enemy of Obamacare:

Donald Trump
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What’s not clear yet is whether any insurers will take the state’s cue and actually offer noncompliant plans, which would likely be subject to immediate litigation. Stay tuned!