Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Des Moines - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced yesterday that, if permitted by applicable state authorities, health insurers can continue transitional policies through calendar year 2019.

“I appreciate CMS once again offering some state flexibility in this regard as has been done each year since 2014.  I am reviewing the impact of this option and will provide Iowans a decision in the near future.”  Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said.  “I am very concerned about the rate shock the 37,000 remaining Iowans in this pool would see if forced to join the collapsed ACA market in Iowa.  Iowans facing the full brunt of paying these ACA increases know all too well that the extraordinarily high rates are simply unaffordable.  I would expect that until the federal government gives Iowa the flexibility to fix our market, many subsidy-eligible individuals in their 20s and 30s will also continue to avoid the ACA market, because even the heavily subsidized Marketplace does not deliver affordable plans for our younger population.  Obviously, that is leaving an increasingly older ACA pool.  The ACA structures are flawed and have broken our market.  In the meantime, transition plans offer coverage for many Iowans.”

Transitional plans are health insurance coverage that was purchased after the ACA was passed but prior to its implementation.  Transitional plans are closed blocks of business that do not allow new entrants to the risk pool.