State of­fi­cial pitches stop­gap health in­sur­ance mea­sure

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

DES MOINES | Iowa’s in­sur­ance com­mis­sioner is propos­ing a plan he thinks could keep Iowa from be­com­ing the first state to lose all of the health in­sur­ance car­ri­ers of­fer­ing poli­cies on the Af­ford­able Care Act ex­change next year.

Doug Om­men says he trav­eled to the Dis­trict of Columbia last week with of­fi­cials from two ma­jor Iowa in­sur­ance car­ri­ers to pitch a pro­posal to fed­eral of­fi­cials that would save the Iowa mar­ket from col­laps­ing.

Min­nesota-based Med­ica is the only

re­main­ing statewide in­surer on the ex­change and has said it will drop out if changes aren’t made.

Mr. Om­men’s plan re­al­lo­cates fed­eral sub­si­dies cur­rently used to lower costs for older par­tic­i­pants to en­tice younger peo­ple into the in­sur­ance mar­ket. It also uses fed­eral rein­sur­ance dol­lars to help in­sur­ers ab­sorb high-cost claims.

Well­mark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has com­mit­ted to sell­ing in­sur­ance in all 99 Iowa coun­ties next year if the plan is ap­proved.

With­out ap­proval, Mr. Om­men says Med­ica will drop out and 72,000 Iowa res­i­dents will be unin­sured next year.

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