BCBS of Idaho to sell 5 plans bypassing ACA rules: 6 things to know

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Idaho submitted a request to state insurance regulators Tuesday to sell five plans that do not comply with ACA requirements, as informed by the executive order signed by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R)  in January, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Here are six things to know about the plans.

1. The "state-based" high-deductible health plans offer lower premiums and slightly smaller copays but still cover all of the ACA's essential health benefits. Deductibles range from $2,000 to $10,000.

2. There is one $5,500-deductible HSA that does not cover maternity care.

3. State-based plans have a $1 million claims limit per year, at which point customers would be forced to enroll in one of the state's ACA-compliant plans.

4. BCBS of Idaho would be able to check the medical history of applicants for state-based plans, which Idaho officials say will mostly appeal to healthy middle class individuals and families who earn too much to qualify for ACA subsidies.

5. "We're excited that they've filed," said Dean Cameron, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, according to the Idaho Statesman. "Obviously, we're going to review their application carefully and review their rate carefully to make sure they meet our state guidelines, but we're excited for Idaho consumers, because now they'll be given a choice."

6. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday the ACA was still the law of the land and would be upheld as such. "I'm not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited," Mr. Azar said, according to The Hill. "There are rules, and there's a rule of law that we need to enforce."

However, Mr. Cameron said state officials have been in contact with various HHS agencies.

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