(Press Release, March 23, 2020)
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little signed two proclamations today – one lifting restrictions in 125 administrative rules to increase healthcare provider capacity and reduce barriers to healthcare access and another extending the state income tax filing and payment deadline to June 15, 2020.
“Last week, I directed all state agencies to review their administrative rules to identify opportunities to assist in the coronavirus response while maintaining public safety,” Governor Little said. “Our valuable public servants in Idaho state government met the task and within a week, they identified more than 125 rules we can waive in order to more quickly, efficiently, and safely respond to our declared emergency.”
The waivers will increase the capacity of Idaho’s healthcare system by broadening the use of telehealth and removing barriers on out-of-state providers treating Idaho patients through telehealth technology. They streamline the licensure of nurses and physicians, allowing inactive or retired providers to come back into the profession more quickly and easily. They also remove restrictions so that physician assistants can be fully engaged as part of the medical team.
The waivers also enhance the care for Idaho patients by ensuring each Idahoan can access their chronic medications – such as those for diabetes — by allowing emergency refill of up to 90 days for existing medications. Also, Medicaid has suspended co-pay requirements to alleviate financial barriers for patients during this emergency.
In addition, Idaho citizens and businesses now have until June 15, 2020, to file their state income taxes and make any state income tax payments and apply for the Property Tax Reduction, Property Tax Deferral, and 100% Service-connected Disabled Veteran Benefit programs.
“As the coronavirus situation progresses in our state, I want to reassure Idahoans that we continue to take all steps necessary at this time to protect our citizens and preserve capacity in our healthcare system,” Governor Little said. “Our goal is to slow the spread of coronavirus. I’m in daily contact with our public health experts and epidemiologists, who are providing me guidance on the actions that are necessary at this time. We are committed to making decisions based on science.”
“Idaho is an expansive, geographically diverse state,” Governor Little added. “Science – and common sense – tell us that the planning and response efforts in one part of the state may not be the best approach in another part of the state.”
Governor Little emphasized the actions that Idahoans need to take right now:
The elderly and health-compromised need to take extra precautions and STAY HOME if you can.
The family, friends and caretakers of the elderly and health-compromised need to take extra precautions around these individuals and limit in-person contact if possible.
STAY HOME if you are sick.
If you have traveled to a place with high virus activity or been around someone with known exposure, STAY HOME or self-isolate for 14 days.
Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands frequently.
Follow social distancing practices and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.
“This is a very challenging and uncertain time, but together we will get through it. I want to thank everyone for doing their part to slow the spread of coronavirus. I have been encouraged by the good will and strength of our citizens,” Governor Little said.
View today’s proclamations here: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/governors-working-group/