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Plan to close Idaho health coverage gap advances to House

A proposal to reduce Idaho’s health coverage gap is headed to the House floor for debate.

House Health and Welfare Committee members spent several hours Wednesday hearing public testimony before voting 7-5 to advance the proposal.

If approved, the bill would allow the state to seek two federal waivers to the Affordable Care Act.

One waiver would allow low-income individuals to qualify for subsidies available to higher-income individuals. The other would expand Medicaid eligibility to make room for 12 serious and costly medical conditions.

About 78,000 working Idahoans are believed to be in the gap population that earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for insurance subsidies.

The proposal, known as the Idaho Health Care Plan, is designed to improve coverage and lower costs on the exchange.

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