Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen has submitted his plan to the federal government that he says will help those who are being left out by the state’s collapsing individual health insurance market.
“If the administration approves the stopgap measure — we believe that we can help save nearly 20-thousand Iowans — middle class, self-employed, early retirees in our market,” Ommen says. The “stopgap” plan he proposes redirects federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to encourage younger, healthier people to buy insurance.
Iowa is down to one company that plans to offer individual insurance plans and Ommen says some people are facing premium increases that would double. He was asked about the concerns of some have raised about high deductibles under his plan.
“What we’ve done is we’ve actually dramatically reduced the premium in order to reflect that concern,” Ommen says. He says individuals at any income level will have access to the same silver level plan and the premiums for a 28-year-old will be as little as 10 dollars a month, The lower premiums will help with the deductibles.
Ommen says the lower premiums will save them several hundred dollars and give them more money for the copays. Ommen says they’ve been working on the plan as if it will be approved by federal officials, because they have to think that way. But he can’t say if it will get approval.
“I’m not gonna even guess on that. We’ve been meeting with them, we’ve addressed their concerns, we’ve made very effort to address their concerns, and we believe that we are ready to be given the answer ‘yes’,” Ommen says.
Ommen first proposed the stopgap plan in June and the Iowa Insurance Division has been working with federal officials to finalize the proposal.