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Idaho ranks high for health

Idaho ranks high for health

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - More people are signing up for Idaho's insurance exchange. Your Health Idaho said the increase in enrollment isn't a result of Dec. 1 fixes to the system.

Although more than 1,700 Idahoans have completed the process, insurance experts have no idea how the changes will affect December's applications. November's applications have increased from the 338 people who enrolled during the exchange's first month.

Nationally, enrollment statistics show nearly 365,000 people have signed up for private coverage under the federal health law. That number is no where near the 1.2 million people officials had originally projected would enroll nationwide by the end of November.

A new study in Idaho may shine some light on the lack of health insurance interests. The East Idaho Public Health District has confirmed that Idaho is No. 12 on the list for healthy states, a big jump from it's 2012 ranking of 19.

"I would like to say the reason is all the great public health programs were doing here in east Idaho, but that's just one of many. We definitely are progressively becoming a more healthy state through lifestyle choices," said health expert Mimi Taylor.

These lifestyle changes include a decrease in smoking, less people with diabetes, and more education throughout the state. Although this is a good start, Idaho still has a problem with immunizations and a widespread of pertussis.

Regardless of whether Idahoans are healthier than an ox, they could be looking at some hefty fines if they don't get coverage by the deadline. The end of open enrollment is March 31. People need to enroll by Dec. 23 to have coverage start in January.

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