Iowa Official Pitches Stopgap Health Insurance Measure

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — 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 Washington 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.

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, Ommen says Medica will drop out and 72,000 Iowa residents will be uninsured next year.

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