Monday, October 30, 2017

           Des Moines – The Iowa Insurance Division is encouraging Iowans to contact a licensed insurance agent as open enrollment approaches and many Iowans are struggling to deal with rising premiums in the individual health insurance market.

           “Given the many changes in Iowa’s insurance market this year, it is very important for Iowans to get help from a licensed insurance agent.  Iowans should also review the information available to them at http://healthcare.gov, but if they find themselves priced out of the individual market, a licensed insurance agent can help explain options that may be available in their specific situation,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “Agents can help educate consumers about other types of coverages that may be available to help provide some Iowans with options such as small group health insurance coverage for the self-employed or HIPIowa, Iowa’s high-risk pool, for those with certain medical conditions.  It is also very important that consumers gather information concerning anticipated 2018 income before meeting with their agent.  Federal tax credits under the ACA are determined based upon income.  An individual's net worth is irrelevant."  

            Iowans can get assistance and find a local licensed insurance agent at the links below:

            "If you operate a business, you may be able to join the small group market. Finally, federal tax credits are available for any consumers with incomes less than 400% of the federal poverty level.  While an insurance market should be about health risk and not income planning, federal law under the ACA has left Iowans with no choice but finding a way to protect themselves in 2018," added Commissioner Ommen.  

            An individual with 2018 annual income of $48,000 or less will be able to protect themselves with tax credits.  Similarly, married couples without dependents who have 2018 annual income of $64,500 or below will be able to protect themselves with tax credits.  Individuals can check whether or not tax credits would be available at various 2018 income levels at: https://www.healthcare.gov/lower-costs/.

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