Des Moines, Iowa (RI) State regulators have approved two short-term health insurance plans for sale in Iowa.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen says these are 364-day plans — and they are an option for healthy Iowans who cannot afford the premiums for individual policies being sold in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.


The approved plans are sold by Golden Rule Insurance Company and United States Fire Insurance Company. Ommen says “These two companies were the first two companies to submit those plans for our approval and we’ve reviewed them, and they do comply with Iowa law.” In-hospital services will be covered, including surgeries and emergency room visits, as well as out-of-hospital care like going to the doctor — even if its via a video “tele-medicine” link. Customers will be able to renew policies for three years. The plans do have higher deductibles, however.


The federal poverty level for a family of four in 2019 is an annual income of $25,750. So four hundred percent of the poverty level would be $103,000 for a family of four. But a family of four with an annual income of more than $99,000 do not qualify for the federal subsidies to buy health insurance, and these are the kinds of people to which these policies are aimed, says Ommen.

These short-term plans will be attractive to younger, healthy Iowans, but Ommen says Iowans with pre-existing conditions will not be able to buy these policies. According to Ommen, until Congress makes significant changes, the health insurance market will not function properly as younger, healthy adults will continue to balk at buying a health insurance policy at a price that’s equal to one offered to a 60-year-old.

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