There's Good News And Bad News For Obamacare Buyers In Iowa

The 'good news' is that if you're an Obamacare buyer anywhere in Iowa there is still one provider willing to sell you healthcare insurance, which wasn't the case just a few weeks back when it looked like large areas of the state would have no providers at all.  The bad news is that your rates are going up 57% so you're probably not going to be able to afford insurance anyway.

As the Des Moines Daily Register points out today, Medica is the only healthcare insurance provider still willing to offer Obamacare plans in the state of Iowa and they're hiking rates by 57% in 2018 just to make it economically feasible.  Of course, Medica was also very clear to point out that it's all Trump's fault.

Iowans who buy their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange would see their rates increase nearly 57 percent next year under a revised rate proposed Wednesday.


The proposal is 13 percentage points higher than previously was estimated by Medica, the one remaining carrier selling individual policies in Iowa next year.


Medica attributed the additional increase to uncertainties over federal health care subsidies, the insurer said in a release.


“We remain hopeful the federal government will fund the cost-sharing reductions, but we are working with the Iowa Insurance Division to help consumers understand the implications of lack of this funding,” Geoff Bartsh, Medica vice president of individual and family business, said in a statement. “We regret the disruption this creates for consumers.”

Perhaps Medica didn't notice but the Trump administration hasn't even decided to cut federal subsidies yet...maybe we can all agree it's just a little disingenuous to be blaming something that hasn't even happened yet?



But, if federal subsidies are cut, even the CBO recently found doing so would cause a 20% increase in Obamacare premiums in 2018, no where near Medica's 57% increase. Here are the highlights from the CBO report:

- The fraction of people living in areas with no insurers offering nongroup plans would be greater during the next two years and about the same starting in 2020;


- Gross premiums for silver plans offered through the marketplaces would be 20 percent higher in 2018 and 25 percent higher by 2020—boosting the amount of premium tax credits according to the statutory formula;


- Most people would pay net premiums (after accounting for premium tax credits) for nongroup insurance throughout the next decade that were similar to or less than what they would pay otherwise—although the share of people facing slight increases would be higher during the next two years;


- Federal deficits would increase by $6 billion in 2018, $21 billion in 2020, and $26 billion in 2026; and ? The number of people uninsured would be slightly higher in 2018 but slightly lower starting in 2020.

Meanwhile, Doug Ommen, Iowa's insurance commissioner, pointed out the real reason Obamacare premiums are soaring in his state...healthy, young, working people who don't qualify for subsidies simply can't afford it and the result is a deteriorating risk pool that grows exponentially more expensive to insure with each passing year.

State Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said Wednesday that many middle-class Iowans will choose to forgo health insurance rather than pay the "extraordinarily high premiums."


"While those that are subsidized may not feel the full impact of this additional increase as their contribution is capped based on a percentage of their income," Ommen said, "those middle-class Iowans who do not receive federal subsidies and are paying the full premium cost out-of-pocket are forced to make very difficult choices."

Perhaps the smart thing for the Trump administration to do would be to leave the federal subsidies in place.  That way when Obamacare fails under it's own weight there will be no ambiguity as to what caused it. 


OpenThePodBayDoorHAL BeansMcGreens Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:49 Permalink

Former UsAin who now lives in a country with *single payer* and gets *better care at half the price I used to*To all troglodytes who scream about "socialized medicine" and "death panels" and "free market for healthcare"Here are the basics:1. No insurer wants to insure sick and old people2. To be enticed to offer reasonably-priced services to the above they must be in a pool with lots of young and healthy people3. The larger the pool, the lower the cost4. The largest possible pool is *everybody*You're welcome

In reply to by BeansMcGreens

QQQBall Fri, 08/18/2017 - 18:33 Permalink

Harvoni is $1,000 per daily pill. Its like 10 bucks in India for the generic. Doctors visits, bloos tests and biopsies and scans are extra. If you're broke, you die. Welcome to the land of plenty

BocceBaal QQQBall Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:08 Permalink

Harvoni is one of the few drugs developed recently which is significantly better than the existing medication. It cures Hep C faster and more reliably than the alternatives.It's cheaper in India because they cut a deal over there to sell it cheaper. Without a potential profit, drugs like Harvoni would not exist.Most of the other very expensive drugs in the US are that way because the FDA shields the manufacturers from competition.

In reply to by QQQBall

GeezerGeek Fri, 08/18/2017 - 18:37 Permalink

If this Medica is the same one that supplies my Medicare Advantage plan here in Florida, they're part of United Healthcare. They confiscated my entire SS increase for 2017 as part of their 'participation fee' in Medicare.Anyone not on a company plan should simply refuse to get insurance and make certain no tax refund is due for 2017. From everything I hear, the deductibles are way too high to warrant getting insured unless you already have an expensive pre-existing condition. The best plan, of course, is to get elected to CONgress.

ReturnOfDaMac Fri, 08/18/2017 - 18:57 Permalink

Tylers, you are a sick puppy to put that picture up for this stupid cause.  He was crying because a crazy committed another mass murder.  Not because some hover-rounder with high blood pressure and cholesterol in Iowa couldn't get a sucker to pay his medical bills.  Thats low Tylers.

Mzhen Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:03 Permalink

In a small town in Iowa in the 1950s, typically there would be a clinic co-owned by about four local doctors.  They even made housecalls.  People paid for services as needed.  Older people might have some health benefits as part of a pension, like a railroad pension, but there weren't that many pensions.  This was before Medicare.  The tradespeople in towns and the farmers were all small businessmen.  They were able to buy policies -- typically Blue Cross/Blue Shield -- that afforded them the best of critical care at the U. of I. hospitals or the Rochester Clinic.  There was a local hospital as well.  However did all that work then and be impossible now?

Pernicious Gol… Mzhen Fri, 08/18/2017 - 23:53 Permalink

Four answers.Politicians figured out "low-cost" or "free" medical Ponzi schemes get them elected.Technology advances in medicine cost a huge amount of money. At least there's an upside - they improve the general health and longevity.Staggering bureaucracy and lawyering up to parasatize off some of that government money.Lazy populace believing it could get something cheap or free. 

In reply to by Mzhen

loveyajimbo Fri, 08/18/2017 - 20:28 Permalink

That walking tumor and traitor, Johhny McLame... has a lot to answer for... WTF???  What was wrong with the 'Skinny repeal'???  Inexcusable... he should be tarred and feathered.BTW:  reducing the Medicare age to 55 would solve almost all the problems... easy to pay for the extra cost... HALT ALL benefits to smelly illegals and "refugees"... and do means testing... people fortunate enough to have $5 million in total assets don't need the free stuff.

Sid Davis Fri, 08/18/2017 - 20:33 Permalink

Just think of living with Obamacare as practice for the future our rulers are bringing us.

The power establishment wants you to be slaves to them, and the leftists want you to be slaves to the state. The distinction is slight when you consider it from the point of view of the slave who winds up living in poverty conditions, whichever philosophy prevails.

Too bad so many people don't seem to value freedom very much. Maybe it hasn't been around for so long that people don't really know what it is or how to be independent instead of dependent.

gdpetti Fri, 08/18/2017 - 21:36 Permalink

"Subsidies", aka 'free money'... all the corporations want it before the game gets reset... with or without them, not that they need to know anything about that.

wwxx Sat, 08/19/2017 - 11:05 Permalink

Ahhhhhhhhhh, the smell of insurance companies screaming for their federal subsidies in the morning, looks like it is going to be a happy weekend afterall.