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By Carla Anderson
Gov. Terry Branstad announced that Iowa and the federal government will partner to run the state’s health insurance exchange in 2014. By the following year, Iowa plans to transition to a state-run model.
The Health Benefit Interagency Workgroup — with representatives from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Iowa Insurance Division — was created in 2010 to conduct exchange planning. The workgroup issued recommendations in June 2011 and continues to lead exchange planning and coordination efforts with the federal government.
Under the partnership model, Iowa will be responsible for plan management, consumer assistance, and Medicaid eligibility determination. Iowa’s plan management functions include selecting and monitoring the qualified health plans (QHP) that will offer policies on the exchange. Iowa’s role in consumer assistance will be education and outreach, coordinating the in-person consumer assisters, and overseeing the Navigator program. The federal government will manage the exchange website and call center and fund the Navigator program. Iowa has determined that its existing information systems will work with federal systems as needed to determine eligibility for Medicaid or subsidies to purchase insurance through the exchange. Accordingly, the state sought and received a $26.6 million in August 2012 to develop a new eligibility system. In total, Iowa has received just more than $42 million in grants for exchange planning and development.
About 500,000 Iowans are expected to obtain health insurance through the exchange.
More Iowa health insurance exchange links
Updated Feb. 26, 2013
State Exchange Profile: Iowa
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Iowa’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Consumer Advocate Bureau
Provides consumers with assistance in navigating the health care system, assistance programs, and other issues related to health insurance benefits.
1-877-955-1212 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Health insurance information, stats, news, quotes and more.
Let your Iowa governor and legislators know how you feel about the state's proposed health insurance exchange.Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
12/14/2012 4:12 PM -- Sioux City Journal — Gov. Terry Branstad notified the federal government that Iowa will have a partnership health insurance exchange in 2014. However, his letter made clear that he has questions about how exchanges will operate and has doubts that an exchange will improve health care quality or reduce costs.
08/24/2012 6:08 PM -- Des Moines Register — Iowa received a $27 million federal grant to upgrade the computer system that will be used to operate its health insurance exchange. Even so, state Democrats charge that Republican stalling will lead to the federal government operating Iowa’s exchange in its first year.
10/12/2011 8:10 PM -- Business 380 – Iowa’s insurance commissioner says Gov. Terry Branstad will propose a “market-based” state health insurance exchange later this year.
08/31/2011 9:08 PM -- Houston Chronicle – A major insurance carrier in Iowa says it’s not sure it would participate in an Iowa state health insurance exchange if the state decides to move forward with the exchange.