Idaho shows how to get around Obamacare


This looks like it’s working. Other states are surely to follow.

Idaho’s Republican governor, Butch Otter, signed an executive order last year paving the way for non-Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans to be sold in his state, and Lt. Gov. Brad Little has since cobbled together what is sure to be the nation’s most controversial healthcare initiative. Their principal intention is to give the people of their state a way of avoiding Obamacare’s monstrous increases in insurance premiums. They want to put affordable insurance plans on the market again…

The scheme appears to flout federal law, so there was some doubt that insurers would be interested in participating at all. But this week, Blue Cross of Idaho stepped up and made it clear it would do so.

On Wednesday, the company provided information about one of the five such plans it intends to offer, called “Freedom Blue Standard.” This is designed to be comparable in most respects to Obamacare Exchange bronze plans. The two have similar deductibles, rates of coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums.

But there are also a few critical differences. Because it allows some health underwriting, which is pricing based on health, and because it caps lifetime benefits at $1 million, the Freedom Blue Standard plan is available to the healthiest buyers for as little as 40 percent of what the bronze plan costs, depending on age. Setting aside the rate for the healthiest, the average buyer of Freedom Blue Standard saves 26-66 percent of the price he or she would pay for an Obamacare bronze policy, depending on age.