Insurance

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Private insurance does not cover the costs for most hearing aids for youths. Efforts to change that are afoot in the state legislature and Idaho Matters speaks with a representative spearheading the initiative and the mother of three children who require hearing aids.

GENT SHKULLAKU / AFP | GETTY IMAGES

So you think you understand health care in Idaho? One reporter for the Idaho Statesman thought so, until she had a baby. Audrey Dutton tells her story on Idaho Matters.

Back in April, the Idaho Department of Insurance issued a directive requiring insurance companies to start insuring some therapies for individuals on the autism spectrum. We talk about the benefits to the child, the family and the schools when insurance supports autism therapy.

  • Early screenings for depression.
  • Holocaust education in Idaho.
  • Insuring therapy for youths with autism.
  • Boise's best hiking spots.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The federal government weighed in on Idaho’s attempt to skirt provisions in the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to state leaders warning them they were on thin ice with the proposed policies.

FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is holding hearings on proposed flood maps in Ada and Canyon County.

FEMA has come up with new maps that change the outline of the 100-year floodplain. That’s the area that has a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year.

The maps are preliminary and include areas along the Boise River, Nine Mile Creek, Mill Slough and Willow Creek. Hundreds of homes in Boise, Garden City, Eagle and Star fall inside the new floodplain districts proposed by FEMA.

Jason Lantz / Idaho Bureau of Land Management

Four days in January cost Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon more than $25 million in winter storm damage. The Idaho Statesman talked with a New Jersey-based company that analyzes insurance claims data, and reports the Jan. 6-9 storm meets the industry standard of a “catastrophic event.”

Verisk Analytics says the total pricetag for damaged homes, cars and businesses is unclear.

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Sawyer Miller for Blue Cross of Idaho

If you buy your own health insurance rather than getting it from an employer, you’ll probably pay more for it next year, maybe a lot more. Health insurance carriers have told the Idaho Department of Insurance what changes they want to make to plans next year and the department has posted those proposed changes on its website. Six insurers want to make substantial rate increases that average 27 percent.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Thousands more people in the Treasure Valley may be required to buy flood insurance in the near future.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is revising its floodplain maps for the Boise River, and a lot of neighborhoods near the river could be added, requiring more home and business owners to buy potentially costly flood insurance.

Barbara Horne's neighborhood in Eagle is one of those. Horne walks her dog around the pond behind her house.  The pair could reach the Boise River in five minutes. Despite living so close to the river, Horne does not have flood insurance.

More than 13,000 businesses as well as state and local governments have received a portion of $35 million following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the entities recently received the money after the Idaho Insurance Fund settled the lawsuit that focused on dividends.

The fund paid dividends to policy holders on a prorated basis, but plaintiffs said state law required the fund to pay equal dividends to policy holders.

The fund provides workers compensation insurance.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday filed a formal request for a federal disaster declaration.