Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rate Hearing to Be Held for Golden Rule Insurance Company and Wellmark Inc. Pre-ACA Plans

Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Insurance Division is required to hold a rate hearing for carriers that file for rate increases above 5.6% in the individual market.  Information and data regarding these rate increases can be found at https://iid.iowa.gov/2019-health-rate-increases.  Policyholders affected by the proposed rate increases will be contacted via postal mail by their insurer.

“I encourage Iowans to contact us regarding these rate increases but I would also encourage folks to call members of Congress to fix this.  While we review recent actions by the federal government regarding association health plans (AHPs), what we do know is that middle-class Iowans cannot be left with a choice of coverage they can’t afford or going uninsured.  Entrepreneurs, farmers, and early retirees relying on this market deserve and need to have a functioning individual health insurance market,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said.

The Iowa Insurance Division will hold a hearing regarding these rate increases on August 18, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Two Ruan Center, 601 Locust Street, Lobby Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.  Iowans will also be able to participate in the hearing online at https://iidiowa.adobeconnect.com/ratehearing.

Iowans do not need to attend the public hearing to provide comments.  Consumers may also comment in the following manners:

  • Online at https://iid.iowa.gov/2019rateincreasepubliccomment
  • By postal mail to: Consumer Advocacy Office, Iowa Insurance Division, Two Ruan Center, 601 Locust Street, 4th Floor, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • By phone: 515-725-4011 or toll-free at 877-955-1212
  • By fax: 515-281-3059

Both Medica and Wellmark have filed preliminary paperwork to offer individual health insurance through the ACA-exchange for plan year 2019 in all 99 counties.  Medica’s proposed rate filing did not trigger a rate hearing.  As a new entrant to the ACA individual market for 2019, Wellmark’s proposed rate filing is not subject to a rate hearing.

“Roughly 40,000 Iowans have left the ACA market since its first year and our market has collapsed down to 44,000 people.  For every $1 in premium, $.80 is paid for by the federal government. This is no longer a voluntary market,” Ommen said.  "It is a positive that we expect two carriers to be offering coverage throughout Iowa in our individual ACA market. It is also very positive that the federal authorities have allowed 35,000 Iowans in transition plans to keep their plans for another year.  It is positive that bipartisan legislators and Governor Reynolds have permitted some relief for some Iowans through the Farm Bureau plan and have expanded our authority to approve Multiple Employer plans,”

“We are currently reviewing the Department of Labor’s rule making regarding association health plans (AHPs) and the Trump administration may extend more flexibility on short-term plans to provide yet another option to families confronting the high ACA rates.  At least for 2019, it appears Iowans will have some additional options.”

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