Iowa Official: ‘Less Optimistic’ About Future Of ACA Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa official says he’s less optimistic a proposal will be approved that would allow the state to shift money used for the Affordable Care Act.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen told lawmakers Tuesday he’s still awaiting a decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding a so-called stopgap measure for the state’s individual insurance market. He says he’s “less optimistic” because he expected an answer by now.

Ommen says he’s still hopeful and his office has been preparing as if the federal government will give its approval. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage begins Nov. 1. Some other states have sought a waiver to change some funding rules for their individual ACA markets, but data shows Iowa’s plan is among the most expansive.

The proposal would allow government subsidies designed to lower costs for low-income and older participants to be used to entice younger people to buy insurance. Ommen says the plan is needed because Iowa’s current market is facing huge rate increases.

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