An Arizona-based consulting firm has analyzed the “stop gap” plan Iowa’s insurance commissioner has drafted to try to stabilize the state’s individual insurance market and help thousands of Iowans who’ve been getting health care coverage through the “ObamaCare” exchange.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen says with this “actuarial analysis” completed, the state can finalize its request for the federal waiver required to implement his plan.
“We’re moving forward and expect approval,” Ommen says.
Officials in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will make the decision on a waiver.
“Under the current framework of the Affordable Care Act, because the market is in collapse, we would be losing significant numbers — thousands of individuals that are healthy and young,” Ommen says. “If we are able to hold those individuals in the market, that’s going to result in better rates and we’ll be able to avoid the collapse.”
Medica is the only company that has pledged to offer individual insurance policies to Iowans in 2018. Ommen says the consultants’ analysis “clearly finds” his short-term solution “will help tens of thousands more Iowans have coverage” next year.
Ommen’s plan redirects federal subsidies available under the health care law that are geared to help people in their 50s and 60s buy individual insurance policies. He’s proposing more premium credits for low-income Iowans, as well as younger Iowans. Getting younger, healthier people into the insurance pool helps lower rates for all policyholders.
There’s a public hearing tonight in Cedar Rapids to discuss Ommen’s proposal and a final public forum will be held Monday, August 14 in Des Moines.