No Change for Iowa Insurance After Trump Executive Order

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  President Trump's executive order eliminating the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction plan will not impact Iowans any more than it already has. Why? Because the lone insurance provider remaining in the individual market place has already planned for it.

“The rates that have been filed by Medica under the ACA, they went from a 43% average increase to a 57% average increase. That disparity was because the second set of rates and the final set of rates that were filed did not include any CSR funding,” said Chance McElhaney, spokesman for the Iowa Insurance Division.

However, without the government funding, insurance providers in other states will have to decide whether or not to stay in their individual marketplace, and, much like Iowa, could see the majority, if not all insurance providers pull out. This is an outcome Simpson College political science professor John Epperson considers a gamble.

“In order to cover their costs, they're going to have to increase premiums to get the money from someplace else or exit the market, in which case people don't get insurance. Having people thrown off of insurance or having the cost go up, is politically, I don’t think, a good thing. As much as he might try to blame Democrats or President Obama, he's in charge now, so there's a good chance that some of the blowback will come on him” said Epperson.

Epperson says this issue could now be presented to Congress. Eliminating the CSR funding was an executive order, and as such, Congress could put the funding back in their budget when the temporary one runs out in December.

“If Democrats were to insist that the money be put in the budget, then he would, I presume, would have to spend it,” said Epperson.

Insurance officials in Iowa are still waiting for approval from the federal government to put the Iowa Stopgap Measure into place.

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