Iowa's Stopgap Healthcare Plan Moves Forward. But, Is It Legal?

Date: October 03, 2017

Related Content: News State Iowa

The Trump administration has commenced a public comment period while considering Iowa’s stopgap healthcare plan. But, many critics are claiming that the measure violates the Affordable Care Act and overburdens moderate-income Iowans.

The Trump administration has advanced Iowa’s request for a stopgap measure to provide stability to the state’s individual health insurance market by issuing a “letter of completeness,” according to The Gazette. The letter marks the start of a 30-day public comment period. The administration will accept input through October 19, and should make a decision by November 1.

Iowa’s insurance commissioner, Doug Ommen, pitched the stopgap measure in June as a way to reduce premiums for the 72,000 Iowans who don’t receive health insurance from an employer or government program and buy coverage themselves. However, opponents argue that the stopgap plan violates the Affordable Care Act because it would impose thousands of dollars in added health care spending on moderate-income Iowans, according to The Des Moines Register. The stopgap plan would take away assistance to moderate-income customers for deductibles and co-pays. Many have threatened to block the stopgap plan in court, should the Trump administration approve it.

Ommen has stated that his office and health insurers are starting to prep for the measure’s implementation. The state insurance department is in a time crunch. With health insurance enrollment starting November 1, the Iowa insurance department would be rushed to establish procedures for implementing the changes.

If you disagree with the stopgap plan, file a comment with CMS Administrator Seema Vera and Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Director Randy Pate by emailing [email protected] and referencing “Iowa Section 1332 Waiver Comments” in the subject line.

Related Content: News | State | Iowa

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