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Harkin: New Health Insurance Marketplace Will Offer Health Care Choice and Affordability to Iowans

Iowa’s Marketplace Will Offer Residents an Average of 39 Qualified Health Plan Choices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement in response to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) showing that Iowa’s soon-to-open health insurance marketplace, created as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will offer Iowans health insurance choice and affordability.

The report from HHS indicates that individuals in Iowa will have an average of 39 qualified health plan choices.  According to HHS, the average premiums for plans in the Marketplace will range from $212 for the lowest-cost “bronze” plan to $266 to for the lowest-cost “silver” plan. Iowa’s average premiums will be among the ten lowest nationwide.

“I am pleased that Iowa's Health Insurance Marketplace is on track to offer affordable, comprehensive health insurance options to all Iowans.  The sample premium rates released today by the Administration show that the promise of access to affordable coverage will be realized nationwide on October 1.  Iowans will be able to choose from nearly 40 insurance plans with average premiums that are among the lowest in the country.  A family of four making $50,000 will be able to get bronze-level coverage for $103 a month; and a 27-year-old making $25,000 will be able to get a plan for less than $100 a month.  That’s real choice, and real affordability.  The marketplace opens for business on October 1st, for coverage effective January 1st.  Now, we must spread the word throughout the state to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to shop and enroll.”

The report released today shows that the state-based insurance marketplaces created by the new health law will allow consumers to shop for, compare, enroll in private health plans, and see significant savings in their health costs. According to HHS, approximately six out of ten individuals who are uninsured today will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Marketplace, taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage. Iowa’s health insurance marketplace will open on October 1st for a six-month enrollment period, and coverage will begin January 1st; Iowans can visit to learn more about the marketplace and how to enroll.

As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA. Read HHS’ full report here.