High Insurance Premiums in Iowa: How Policy and Business Decisions Led to Them


This year, Iowa’s legislature exempted health plans offered by the state’s Farm Bureau from state and federal insurance regulation, including provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide a minimum standard of benefits.

In a new post on To the Point, Georgetown University’s Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia explain that Iowans needing comprehensive coverage, including older adults, are unlikely to find these plans affordable or attractive, and many could be denied enrollment anyway. As enrollees in ACA-compliant plans become older and sicker, consumers earning too much to qualify for ACA subsidies will face increasingly higher premiums.

“Iowa’s Farm Bureau statute is making a bad situation worse for the state’s individual market,” the authors say. Moreover, Iowa’s segmentation of the individual market between the healthy and less-healthy offers important lessons for other states.

Map of Iowa where premiums are higher due to policy decisions Read the post