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Enrollment period for insurance purchase ends Dec. 15

Becky Colwell

Becky Colwell

Beginning Nov. 1, Idahoans were able to purchase health and dental insurance for 2018 on the Idaho health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho. The exchange is the only place in the state where individuals can purchase health insurance and receive a tax credit to help offset the costs of their monthly premium.

“There are differences this year that we should be aware of,” said Becky Colwell, benefits counselor, St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics. “First, the enrollment period is shortened this year,” Colwell said. Open Enrollment for 2018 coverage runs through Friday, Dec. 15.

“Second, the plans and prices that you see on reflect the recent decision regarding funding for cost-share reductions (CSRs). While that funding has stopped, the CSR benefits remain,” Colwell said. These benefits include reduced costs for deductibles, office visits, and prescription medication.

“We know that applying for and signing up for health insurance benefits can be an intimidating task, especially if you have never done it before,” Colwell said. “I am here to help you with that process and provide the appropriate referral.”

Colwell is also able to help people apply for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and she is also a certified Senior Health Insurance Benefit Advisor (SHIBA) and is able to provide free Medicare counseling.

St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics has also partnered with area insurance agents who assist with this process and provide consumers with plan recommendations. Those agents are: Rod Grant, Walrath Insurance, 208-476-5527 in Orofino, Bonny Turner, Greg Kimberling Insurance, 208-476-5713 in Orofino, Mike Asker, Farm Bureau, 208-983-2401 in Grangeville, and Dominic Lustig, Camas Prairie Insurance, Camas office 208-926-5401 in Cottonwood or Seyer office, 208-983-1238, in Grangeville.

Contact Colwell at 208-476-8018 for assistance with signing up for health insurance. For information, visit

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D04RH28412, from the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program. $600,000 was awarded during three years.


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