Iowa submits final plan to stabilize health coverage costs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state official says Iowa's individual health insurance market under the Affordable Care Act will collapse if the federal government doesn't approve a short-term proposal aimed at stabilizing premium costs.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen told reporters Tuesday the state has communicated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to finalize a proposed stopgap measure. The state submitted its final proposal on the measure Monday.

About 72,000 Iowans have individual ACA-compliant health plans. Ommen estimates up to 22,000 of them will drop coverage in 2018 if no action is taken to offset growing premium costs. The last insurance carrier to offer individual plans expects additional premium increases.

The stopgap measure reallocates federal money to help individuals priced out of subsidies that currently help pay for coverage.