Key date was not met by the state in order to comply with the new federal healthcare law.
A key deadline for the states to meet in order to comply with the new federal healthcare laws has come and gone and Iowa’s commissioner has now issued a letter explaining that they will not be able to meet this health insurance exchange planning date.
Governor Terry Branstad’s insurance commissioner has confirmed the deadline has been missed.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gave the states until September 30 in order to select the essential health insurance benefits minimums that would be required within their states by insurers who want to have their plans sold through the official exchanges.
Iowa had hoped to establish its own health insurance exchange, but was left with too many questions.
According to Iowa’s Commissioner Susan Voss, in her letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services “Unfortunately, too many questions persist for the state of Iowa to make an informed decision about its preferred Essential Health Benefits Package.”
Voss also explained that “The state of Iowa will await further information via a formal rule-making process before making a decision on an Essential Health Benefits package that will significantly impact the state’s health insurance market.”
According to the Kaiser Foundation, Iowa was not the only state to have missed the health insurance law deadline. Washington D.C. and 16 other states were able to meet the required deadline. An additional 16 states promised that although they had officially missed the deadline, they were on the right track and would be submitting their plans within the next few weeks.
According to Governor Branstad, he is being pragmatic about the health insurance exchange issue. He feels that the results of the ever approaching presidential election will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare in the country, as the Democrats will continue as planned, but the Republicans could take down all of the changes that have been made. Critics, such as Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) who is also the Health and Human Services Appropriation Committee chairman in the Iowa Legislature, have said that this is not pragmatism as much as a political game.