New Idaho Behavioral Health Plan launches today

DHW Communications

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare launches an improved behavioral health plan today with new administrator Magellan Healthcare at the helm.

The Idaho Behavioral Health Plan (IBHP) exists to help Idaho’s Medicaid members and other eligible people find and receive behavioral health care from local providers across the state. Starting today, the plan incorporates services that have previously been scattered and managed by different administrators. The more unified plan helps Idaho better meet community needs to treat mental health conditions and substance use disorder.

“When someone is living with mental illness or substance use disorder, navigating the world of healthcare can be daunting and difficult,” said Juliet Charron, deputy director for Medicaid and Behavioral Health at the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). “Idaho’s new plan consolidates services more than ever before so many Medicaid members who require behavioral health services can interact with a single point of contact to manage multiple health needs. We’re able to lessen the burden for many Idahoans, and we’re confident that will lead to better care.”

Magellan was tapped to administer the plan after the department put the contract out for bid. The company was selected in June 2023 and has spent more than a year working with state officials and Optum, the former plan administrator, preparing for the transition to the new IBHP.

“Magellan has shown the expertise and dedication needed to meet Idaho’s needs,” said DHW Director Alex Adams. “They are the partner Idaho needs to overcome the behavioral health challenges we face.”

The IBHP was overhauled to better reflect the state’s goals for tackling behavioral health, including mental health conditions and substance use disorder. The new plan:

  • Adds resources to Idaho’s crisis services, creating more opportunities to help Idahoans at their most vulnerable moments
  • Increases information sharing across provider services to improve care
  • Improves service coordination by bringing inpatient care and other services under the plan umbrella for the first time

The transition is designed to allow Idahoans to continue their care without interruption. Most people using plan services will not see a change. If any providers choose not to be a part of Magellan’s network, the members who use them will get help in finding a new provider as they use their current one for up to 90 days.

“Idaho’s community of behavioral health providers deserve high praise for working to transition into the new plan,” Charron said. “They have stepped up, and we are committed to make sure they are supported as we iron out any hiccups associated with the change.”

Providers have access to a dedicated service team to assist them with whatever they might need.

If anyone needs support relating to behavioral health:

  • Medicaid members and other eligible people can call 855-202-0973 for assistance in coordinating their care
  • Providers can call 855-202-0983 to receive administrative support
  • Anyone who needs help can call 988, Idaho’s Crisis and Suicide Hotline

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at