November 1st, 2017 BY HealthNetwork
Hawkeye state farmers continue to struggle as crop prices have been falling by as much as 55 percent. The political climate in Iowa also suffers from uncertainty, with voters who had voted Democrat in every presidential race since 1988 choosing the Republican candidate in 2016. Displaying similar conflicting viewpoints, Iowa first challenged and then supported the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court. It was also one of the states that elected to expand Medicaid coverage when Obamacare made it an option.
Enrollment through the Years
Iowans can acquire Obamacare coverage through the federal marketplace. Although some individuals opted out of coverage during election year, marketplace enrollment has increased overall since 2015.
- 45,162 Iowans enrolled in 2015
- 55,089 Iowans enrolled in 2016
- 51,573 Iowans enrolled in 2017
The marketplace welcome 16,834 new enrollees in 2017 while 34,739 enrollees returned to the exchanges from the previous year. As is the case in other states, enrollment fluctuated this year due to uncertainty over the future of healthcare reform. The majority of Iowa’s 2017 exchange participants are in the 55-64 age bracket.
About 150,000 Iowans became eligible for Iowa Medicaid coverage under expanded ACA guidelines.
Individuals who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit can receive cost assistance to help pay a portion of their monthly premium. In 2017, 86 percent of Iowan customers qualified for federal subsidies. Cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) were extended to persons earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty limit who select a silver-level plan. In 2017, 52 percent of enrollees in this state were granted CSRs.
Carrier Participation & Plan Availability
Iowans enjoyed a selection of 1,326 health plans from five carriers in 2017. This number will likely change as only one carrier is offering marketplace plans to Iowans in 2018 so far. Note that this doesn’t mean that all Iowans can choose from the same number of plans. Plan availability varies by county.