Iowa Premium Increases Affect Small Number
Less than 2 percent of Iowans will be affected by the steep premium increases announced this week, according to the Des Moines Register. Meanwhile, the Cover Oregon Exchange Board may drop plans to make a recommendation to the legislature this fall about the future of the state's insurance exchange, and Indiana officials continue discussing alternatives to Medicaid expansion.
Des Moines Register: Insurance Rise Affects Relatively Few
Less than 2 percent of Iowans will be affected by steep health insurance increases announced this week by state regulators. The Iowa Insurance Division announced Wednesday that it had approved premium increases averaging 8.7 percent to 19 percent for Iowans who purchased individual policies from Coventry Healthcare, Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and CoOportunity Health. The insurance division determined that those premium increases were justified, in part by costs associated with the federal Affordable Care Act. Those costs include the fact that starting in 2014, insurers could no longer deny coverage or charge extra to people with pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But the decisions announced Wednesday affect only about 50,000 of Iowa's 3.1 million residents, according to Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart (Leys, 10/9).
The Oregonian: Cover Oregon Exchange Board Meets Today, May Drop Plan To Advise Lawmakers
After months of preparing to submit a recommendation about the future of the state's health insurance exchange to the Legislature this fall, the Cover Oregon board appears to be dropping the idea. The change of course, which took place without public discussion in between board meetings, comes during an election campaign in which Cover Oregon has become a frequent talking point for Republicans seeking to blame Democrats for the exchange's technology troubles (Budnick, 10/9).
And, on the Medicaid expansion front -
Indianapolis Star: Feds Work With Indiana On Medicaid Alternative
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Thursday she will continue to work with Indiana on its alternative Medicaid proposal, although the plan will have to maintain protections for Medicaid beneficiaries. "There are some core parameters that are both statutory and policy in terms of what Medicaid needs to provide," Burwell said during a discussion with reporters. "That's where we're having the space in the conversation. We're continuing the conversation." After Gov. Mike Pence met with Burwell Monday, he likewise said the two sides have not reached an agreement on getting federal funding to expand Medicaid in Indiana (Groppe, 10/9).
WISH TV: Gov. Pence: Co-Payments Are Snag In HIP 2.0 Negotiations
Indiana Governor Mike Pence made it clear Thursday that winning federal approval for his plan to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan will be difficult. It’s clear that Mike Pence is unwilling to back off elements of his HIP 2.0 plan that include co-payments and health savings accounts. It’s also clear that his alternative to expanding Medicaid is unacceptable to leaders in the Obama administration (Shella, 10/9).