A big thank you goes out to Medica, a nonprofit from Minnesota, for offering health insurance to individuals in Iowa for 2018. They have saved the day for 70,000 individuals.
A big no thank you goes to Iowa-based Wellmark who finally entered the federal marketplace for 2017 after refusing for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Do you really think they care about you, who purchase your own health insurance? Absolutely not, they don’t need our business. They have weeded out individuals with pre-existing conditions from their grandfathered plans. They most likely are making more profit now than ever. ACA compliant plans require 80 percent of premiums to be spent on health care. If Wellmark spends less, they are required to send a refund check to the customer.
Before 2014, I was a loyal Wellmark consumer. Since then, I have received services from CoOportunity, Coventry, and Aetna. They all offer satisfactory plans and services.
For 2017, Wellmark offered an HMO with a network of Mercy and University of Iowa on the marketplace. In the silver category, it was the most expensive plan. Aetna and Medica both offered large open network plans and were cheaper than Wellmark’s HMO. I suspect Wellmark sold little to no plans on the marketplace since they weren’t competitive. This may be one of the reasons why they are offering no plans for 2018.