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One Affordable Care Act Insurer Intends to Stay in Iowa

Jennifer Morrow

The health insurance company Medica has decided to sell individual plans on Iowa’s Affordable Care Act exchange in 2018. The announcement came Monday in a news release.

It’s likely Medica will be the only company selling individual ACA-compliant health insurance statewide in Iowa. It’s proposing to increase rates by an average of 43.5 percent.

"When you find yourself as the only ones between people getting access to care and people not getting access to care, your view of the situation becomes very different," Medica Vice President Geoff Bartsh said in a written statement. 

Monday is the rate filing deadline for insurance companies participating in Iowa’s ACA marketplace.

Iowa recently proposed a stopgap plan intended to revamp Obamacare and keep insurers on the state’s exchange.

In a written statement, Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said he appreciates Medica's decision, but he's concerned big rate increases will drive younger people out of the market.

"Iowa's individual market remains unsustainable and needs a fix from Congress," Ommen said. "Iowa will continue to move forward with the proposed stopgap measure." 

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield committed to re-entering the marketplace if the stopgap plan is approved by federal officials. Aetna says its decision to stop selling individual policies in Iowa under the ACA is final.