Iowa's last major ObamaCare insurer weighs exit, requests 43% premium hike

Health Care FOXBusiness

(REUTERS)

The last remaining statewide health insurance company on the ObamaCare exchanges in Iowa, Medica, is requesting a premium increase of 43.5 percent in order to remain in the marketplace for 2018.

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The company says the exorbitant price increase is necessary to maintain operations in Iowa where all other insurers have fled. Earlier this year Aetna (AET) and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield both said they would not participate in Iowa’s Affordable Care Act marketplace next year. Another small company that had provided coverage this year throughout five counties in the state did not file proposed 2018 rates by Monday’s deadline.

Insurers across the country are pulling out of the Affordable Care Act marketplace due to instability on the exchanges, the damaging costs of participation and policy uncertainty as Republicans try to pass a new health care bill.

Minnesota-based Medica could still pull its Affordable Care Act plans before next year, it has until September to finalize its decision.

The company insures about 12,500 Iowans through the Affordable Care Act exchange, which offers subsidies for those meeting income guidelines and about 1,400 who buy their own insurance off the exchange.

Iowa is seeking a waiver that would allow it to repurpose federal subsidies to attract younger, healthier individuals into the market.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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