Health Insurance Rate Increases Approved

upward_trend_3Northwest Iowa — People in our area, and across the state, who do business with one of four different companies, will see their health insurance premiums raise, in some cases dramatically, come January 1st after an announcement Monday by the state Insurance Commissioner.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart has approved health care premium rate increases for four companies ranging from 19 percent up to 43 percent. Gerhart’s office reviews the rate increase requests to be sure they are “non-discriminatory, fair and adequate” under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. He says they use several actuarial tables for the review.

The information released Monday shows approval for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of 42-point-six percent for 22-thousand customers. About 77-hundred policyholders of Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa will see an increase of 37-point-eight percent. Another group of 23-hundred Wellmark planholders who enrolled prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law will see a 42-point-six percent increase. Requests for a 23 percent increase for 42-thousand Aetna Health of Iowa policyholders, 19 percent for Medica Insurance Company users, and 19-point-8 percent for Gunderson Health Plan participants were also approved. Gerhart says the variation in the amount of premium increases is based on what those actuarial numbers show for each company.

Gerhart says the companies have to collect enough in premiums to cover their costs.

Gerhart has this advice for those in Iowa who face rate increases.

Around 75-thousand Iowans, including many here in northwest Iowa, will pay more for their health coverage with the increases that begin January 1st.

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