DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As the effects of the Affordable Care Act start to sink in, a new reality is beginning to take shape. Iowa could potentially be the first state to lose all of it’s health care insurance carriers offering policies on the Affordable Care Exchange in the coming year.
A plan proposed by Iowa’s insurance commissioner could prevent just that loss. Doug Ommenn traveled to Washington with officials from two major Iowa insurance carriers last week to pitch a proposal to federal officials that could prevent the Iowa market from collapsing.
Currently Medica, a Minnesota based company, is the only state-wide insurer left on the exchange. They’re threatening to pull out unless changes are made.
Ommenn’s plan reappropriates federal subsidies currently used to aid in lowering costs for older participants to attract the younger demographic into the getting insurance. It then uses federal reinsurance dollars to help insurers absorb high-cost claims.
If the plan is approved, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has committed to selling insurance in all 99 Iowa counties. If it is not approved, Medica will drop out and 72,000 Iowans will go uninsured next year.
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