“We created a little bit of a perfect storm,” said Pat Kelly, executive director of the Your Health Idaho insurance exchange. About 8% of enrollments were still in the queue as of Friday. The perfect storm: offering health insurance during a pandemic, and absorbing the work of another overwhelmed state agency — the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare — at a time when hiring more staff is a challenge.
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The problem is, her health insurance is there, just waiting to be claimed. She just couldn’t access it because her application is one of many held up at Your Health Idaho. “It’s going on two months of me living in this excruciating pain, because I can’t get insurance,” she said.
The problem is bigger than just Poseley. According to YourHealthIdaho.org — the exchange’s website — as of Friday, new applications submitted after Dec. 3 have yet to be processed. But when the Idaho Capital Sun reached her by phone last week, Poseley was still waiting for word on her application.
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In the meantime, she said, she developed a kidney stone. She waited two months to see a doctor — at which point, the stone was so big, it had to be surgically removed, she said. Poseley said she has tried to make appointments while her insurance plan is in limbo, but was told she must pay up front. Then, she said, she was approved for disability but has a long waiting period for health coverage. She also had pension income that made her ineligible for Medicaid. So, her only option for insurance was the exchange. She bided her time until Your Health Idaho opened in the fall.
Poseley’s situation is complicated. She had health insurance for a while last year, but the plan she’d selected would not cover medical care through St. Luke’s Health System — which owns the hospital in the community where Poseley lives. Waiting for medical care in 2021, and again in 2022
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