Iowa Delays Pricing Information On New Health Insurance Exchange
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's insurance commissioner says he needs a commitment from a national insurer before he can release pricing information on policies to be sold on the state's new health insurance exchange.
The prices were scheduled to be released next week, but that's been delayed until mid-September.
In an interview with TV-9's Chris Earl, commissioner Nick Gerhart said they will wait until Coventry files its paperwork for a firm commitment to the state's health insurance exchange system for 2014.
"Every sign is they are going to be here but, again, my staff has reminded me time and time again that, until we have that notification from our federal partners that they (Coventry) have signed up, we are going to be hesitant to release rates," said Gerhart. "I don't want to set up consumers to not understand what has happened."
The concern comes as Coventry's new parent company, Aetna, has withdrawn from five other states' exchanges, including withdrawing from the New York exchange just last month.
Aetna officials didn't respond to requests for comment.
Gerhart said that September 11 is the deadline for carriers to sign up and the pricing information could be revealed to Iowans as soon as September 12. If Coventry were to opt out, that would leave Iowans with only one carrier, CoOportunity Health.
"They're a creature of the Affordable Care Act so they're going to be there," said Gerhart.
The state's dominant health insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, won't participate in the exchange until 2015.
Gerhart also stressed the upcoming six-month open enrollment period for Iowans to consider their options.
"Not everyone is going to show up on October 1," said Gerhart. "I think we will have a lot of people who will glide into this and we're helping the (federal government) with their efforts."
- October 1, 2013: Open Enrollment Period For Iowans Begins
- January 1, 2014: Per the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Coverage Takes Effect
- March 31, 2014: Open Enrollment Period Ends. (Note: For 2015, the Open Enrollment Period is October 1-December 31, 2014)
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