The top Republican in the legislature says she’s hoping to find a way to help the thousands of Iowans who can’t afford to buy individual insurance policies for 2018.
“My gosh, we have got people that are paying up to $40,000 was one I heard with an $8000 deductible for each person. How is that sustainable? I’ve heard bankers talking about people coming in to borrow money to pay for health insurance. How do we sustain that kind of thing?” Upmeyer asked. “We have to move this needle.”
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake plans to consult with the state insurance commissioner and the head of a federal agency to see what options may be available. One could be helping to set up “associations” that let people join, so they’re part of a group insurance plan.
“We’ve moved away from those. Maybe we need to take another look. Maybe we need to dust something like that off,” Upmeyer said.
Republicans have long favored arrangements which let small business owners, for example, join a professional or trade association that offers insurance to its members. The group insurance policies purchased by these associations could be even cheaper if state officials remove regulations on what insurance policies must cover.
“Maybe we can figure out a path,” Upmeyer said. “We just have to be creative and if we’re not going to get this accomplished in congress, at least we should work on it and shine a lot of light on it and maybe folks in Washington, D.C. will be more motivated.”
Upmeyer made her comments during an interview with Radio Iowa.