Health

Insurance Division seeks comment on new health care plans

New law allows employers to band together to offer coverage

The State Capitol dome is illuminated by the sunset in Des Moines on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
The State Capitol dome is illuminated by the sunset in Des Moines on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

The Iowa Insurance Division is inviting public comment on the new law that allows for the sale of health care plans exempt from state and federal regulations.

Public comment will be accepted through April 27 at iid.iowa.gov/SF2349comment or by emailing SF2349comment@iid.iowa.gov. Please your name, organization (if applicable) and email address.

The request comes after the recent passage of Senate File 2349, which allows for small employers to band together to provide health care coverage — called “association health plans” — for their employees.

Under the law, insurance carriers can sell policies that would not meet rules under the Affordable Care Act but would be available at a lower cost than regular health insurance. The plans would not provide as much coverage as some health insurance and could put ceilings on certain benefits.

The bill also allows Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to partner with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to offer health plans for qualifying participants.

The plans — called Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements — can provide Iowa employers “a meaningful way to band together to provide health coverage for their employees, who might otherwise be priced out of Iowa’s collapsed ACA individual market,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said in a Wednesday news release. “I want to hear ideas from all Iowa individuals, businesses and other interested parties on this.”

The Iowa Insurance Division is to submit proposed rules for the new plans to the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee for public comment once the law goes into effect July 1.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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