Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Mental Health: Checklist Reveals What Farm Bureau Health Plans Ask About Preexisting Conditions
The plans sold through Iowa's Farm Bureau were made legal under a law signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), which allows the agency to collaborate with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield on self-funded “health benefit plans.” They don't have to follow the strict regulations laid out by the federal health law, such as not charging more for people with preexisting conditions. Meanwhile, rankled over CBO's health care projections during repeal-replace efforts, Republicans ask the budget office for a do-over.
Iowa To Sell Health Plans That Can Disqualify People Based On Pre-Existing Conditions
New health plans sold through Iowa’s Farm Bureau will be able to ask applicants if they have any pre-existing conditions. According to a checklist posted online by the Farm Bureau, applicants will be asked about a list of conditions related to mental health, blood pressure, reproductive system, lungs or the respiratory system, among others. (Weixel, 10/4)
GOP Senators Scrutinize CBO's New Health Insurance Simulation Model
Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee have pressed the Congressional Budget Office to release details of the forthcoming new health insurance simulation model. In pointed language, the letter led by committee Chair Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) suggested that the CBO should test its model with a do-over of the original estimate of the federal spending and health insurance coverage for the Affordable Care Act "to determine whether the agency's estimate would have been closer to the actual, observed amounts since (the ACA's) enactment." (Luthi, 10/4)
In other health law news —
Colorado 2019 Health Insurance Plans, Premiums Increase Modestly
A year after many Coloradans saw massive hikes in individual heath insurance premiums on the state exchange, people can expect much more modest increases to their premiums this time around — with some even seeing significant savings. The Colorado Division of Insurance released its long-awaited 2019 health insurance plans and premiums Thursday, approving 5.6-percent average increases in premiums for individual plans. That’s slightly lower than the 5.94-percent increase requested by insurance companies — and significantly lower than last year’s 32.2-percent average spike in premiums. (Tabachnik, 10/4)
Health Insurance: Bright, Oscar, Cigna Enter Arizona ACA Marketplace
Maricopa and Pima county residents will have more choices of Affordable Care Act health-insurance plans for 2019, though fewer federal dollars will be available to help people enroll in them. Open enrollment for 2019 plans starts Nov. 1 and ends Dec 15. (Innes, 10/4)
Does The U.S. Have ‘Free Market’ Health Care?
Americans have been debating health care for decades. As costs have continued to skyrocket for individuals, employers and the federal government, consumer frustration has also risen. The U.S. health care system is often characterized by opaque pricing, varying levels of quality and inefficiencies that make getting care confusing for patients and providers alike. (Tolbert, 10/4)