In 2018, Iowans may not have access to health insurance.
That’s because Medica, a Minnesota-based health insurer, which is the last major health insurer in the state, has stated it might well stop selling health insurance policies. The company released a statement saying;
Without swift action by the state or Congress to provide stability to Iowa’s individual insurance market, Medica will not be able to serve the citizens of Iowa in the manner and breadth that we do today. We are examining the potential of limited offerings, but our ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point,” the company’s statement said.
Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield have announced they will no longer be a part of Iowa’s individual health insurance market. Iowans getting insurance via an employer or a government program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, will not be affected by Medica’s withdrawal, but 70,000 Iowans who buy their own coverage cojld be left insurance-free.
As The Des Moines Register reported, “Unless a replacement carrier is found, the change means moderate-income Iowans in most counties would not be able to use Affordable Care Act subsidies to help pay premiums for private insurance. It also means many better-off Iowans who pay their entire premiums without government assistance would lose their individual insurance policies next year.”
The 77,000 Wellmark customers who bought individual policies that took effect before Jan. 1, 2014 will be covered because they weren’t subject to Obamacare regulations.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said his office was restricted by the Obamacare regulations, admitting, “Without Congressional action, we’re very limited in what we can do. This is a federally created situation, and we need a federally created solution.”
There is a fourth carrier, Gundersen Health Plan, but it only covers a tiny percentage of Iowans.