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Insurance Commissioner 'Less Optimistic' About Stopgap Plan Approval

doug ommen
Joyce Russell
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen speaks to the Administrative Rules Review Committee Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

Iowa’s insurance commissioner says he is now "less optimistic" about winning federal approval for a plan to stabilize the state’s individual health insurance market.

The state of Iowa submitted a "stopgap" plan to federal agencies in August. It would change the distribution of insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen told lawmakers Tuesday he was hoping to know by now whether the plan would be approved.

"I am less optimistic today than I was three weeks ago," Ommen says. "But I am still hopeful they will approve it, because if they don’t, we will be in much worse shape next year."

Last month, Ommen said he expected the stopgap plan would be approved. 

Ommen says federal officials have not rejected the proposal, so he will move forward as if it has been approved. He says the stopgap plan will help thousands of Iowans keep their health insurance as premiums increase.