BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The state-based health insurance exchange has helped slightly lower the number of cases burdening Idaho's only safety net for people who can't pay their medical bills.

But meeting the needs of the uninsured mentally ill continues to be a challenge.

Bonneville County Commissioner Roger Christensen told state budget writers Thursday that Idaho's catastrophic health insurance fund saw a small decrease in caseloads in fiscal year 2014 as more hospitals identify people who are eligible for the exchange.

The program has also installed measures to check that individuals don't qualify for other benefits before picking up the tab.

However, Christensen says mental health cases continue to climb. Most mentally ill patients needing Idaho's safety net are single, young males — most of whom don't qualify for Medicaid in Idaho.