KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Thousands Likely To Drop Coverage If Feds Don’t Approve Stopgap Plan, Iowa Officials Say

Iowa Commissioner Doug Ommen filed a formal proposal Monday that aims to help Iowans who buy their own health insurance instead of obtaining it from an employer or government program, such as Medicare.

The Hill: Iowa Submits Final Request To Shore Up ObamaCare Markets 
Iowa on Tuesday submitted to the federal government a final request to make changes to try to shore up its struggling ObamaCare insurance marketplace. The plan from the Iowa Insurance Division is intended to be a short-term market stabilization solution to entice more insurers into the marketplace. The state is facing what it calls a “collapse” of its ObamaCare marketplace after all but one insurer declined to offer plans for 2018. (Weixel, 8/22)

Des Moines Register: Health Insurance 'Stopgap' Rejection In Iowa Could Prompt Thousands To Drop Coverage
If federal officials reject Iowa’s “stopgap” insurance plan, tens of thousands of consumers are likely to drop coverage because of staggering premium increases, the state insurance commissioner warned. Commissioner Doug Ommen filed a formal, 192-page proposal Monday to federal health care administrators. ... Ommen estimated that under current rules, 18,000 to 22,000 Iowans would drop their individual policies and become uninsured next year. The commissioner unveiled a draft of his proposal in June. The stopgap plan would reconfigure Obamacare subsidies to give some assistance to people above the current income threshold, which is about $48,000 for a single person. (Leys, 8/22)

Des Moines Register: Iowans Can Sound Off Saturday About 57% Health Insurance Increases
Iowans facing health insurance premium increases of 57 percent or more will have a chance to air their grievances to the state’s insurance commissioner Saturday. They’ll likely gain the commissioner’s sympathy, but not much relief. Commissioner Doug Ommen has said that without federal intervention, there is little he can do to rein in skyrocketing premiums for individual health insurance policies. (Leys, 8/22)

Meanwhile, in Texas —

Houston Chronicle: Insurance Exec: Upheaval Could Affect Group Plans, Too 
Dave Milich, a longtime UnitedHealthcare executive, took the reins of his company's employer-sponsored health plans in Texas and Oklahoma in April. With the insurance industry at the center of the white-hot debate raging these days about the nation's health care, Milich spoke with the Houston Chronicle this week about the challenges his company faces and how it is preparing for the future amid such turbulence. (Deam, 8/22)

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