Thursday, August 1, 2013

Iowa Insurance Division Completes Its Review and Approval of Filings for Health Insurance Plans to be Offered on Its Health Insurance Marketplace.

Subject to Federal Final Review for October 1 Beginning of Open Enrollment Period

The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) late yesterday completed its review of the health insurance plans that were submitted for use on the Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as a health insurance exchange, when that marketplace becomes operational next year. This review was required as part of the Exchange Blueprint submitted by Iowa and as agreed to by the state’s federal partner in the Partnership Exchange Model chosen by Iowa.  The filing met the midnight, July 31 deadline and was the final action of a month of intense IID staff work on the state review.

The plans were evaluated on the basis of their compliance with design standards set for the state and for the rates to be charged for various categories of enrollees, based on their age, residency and smoker status. Now that the Iowa review has resulted in a provisional approval of each of the submitted plans in the form of prerequisite state, the filings will proceed for a federal government review that must occur prior to their determination of the plans’ eligibility for use in Iowa’s federally-administered Marketplace.

In all, six companies have submitted health plans for the Iowa review, now to be followed by the federal review. Two of the companies, Coventry Health Care of Iowa, Inc. and CoOportunity  Health, are expected to offer statewide coverage for individual health care coverage, while CoOportunity Health also applied to offer statewide small group plans. Two insurers applied to offer individual and small employer group plans for smaller regional markets. Those companies are Avera Health Plans and Gunderson Health Plan, Inc.  Two companies; Sanford Health and Health Alliance Midwest, Inc., have applied to offer small group plans only.

In addition, four companies have applied to offer stand-alone dental plans on the marketplace.  Those companies are: The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Dentegra Insurance Company, Delta Dental Plan of Iowa and BEST Life and Health Insurance Company.

“This was a major effort for our review team,” said Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart. “We had to work hard and long to get through all of the filings involved.  I’m proud of our people for completing the work on time, as we have for each of the steps required in order to make this operational.  Now it’s in the hands of the federal government for completion.”

Iowa is required by the federal government to keep specific information such as county-by-county coverage of each of the insurers and the rates for insurance charged by each company confidential. That information will come when released by the federal agencies, but that will be no later than the start of the Open Enrollment period, beginning on October 1.

Health insurance will continue to be offered both on and outside of the marketplace in 2014, but opportunities for tax credits and subsidies for those eligible because of their income will only exist for purchases of one of the plans available on the marketplace.

More information about the Iowa’s Health Insurance Marketplace will soon be available on its federal site, .  Additional information about enrollment opportunities will come in the next several weeks as the approvals are finalized and federal training is completed.