Lawsuit Says Iowa Universities Refusing To Pay Health Subsidies

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By Richard Pratt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A nonprofit that subsidizes insurance policies for Iowans with health risks is suing the state's three public universities, claiming they're refusing to pay legally required fees.

The Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association says the universities' nonpayment could lead to higher assessments for other government agencies who are members and higher costs for patients. Its lawsuit seeks to force the universities to pay overdue assessments for 2010 and 2011 totaling roughly $1.5 million, plus late fees and legal costs.

Lawyers for the universities are fighting the lawsuit, arguing the association doesn't have the authority to sue and that the assessments are an unconstitutional public subsidy of private insurers.

Lawmakers created the association in 1995 to make insurance accessible for Iowans with medical conditions that made them unable to obtain coverage.

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