New options for health insurance for WC

A recent announcement from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa has many people optimistic about the individual under-65 health insurance market. Last week the company announced that as long as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains stable, they plan to reenter the market in 2019.

“Wellmark’s announcement would add an important carrier to the individual under-65 market,” said Angie Youngdale of Town and Country Insurance in Webster City. “I’m hopeful that it signifies a change for the better in a very turbulent market.”

Wellmark previously sold individual under-65 ACA plans on the Marketplace, but made the decision last April to exit the market in 2018. Another health carrier in Iowa, Aetna, announced they were also leaving the market shortly after Wellmark. Aetna’s decision left Medica as the only carrier to offer ACA plans to all of Iowa in 2018.

A statement on Wellmark’s website said Wellmark members and agents, along with Governor Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen, asked Wellmark to offer coverage in the market once again. In response, not only has Wellmark stated they will offer the fully ACA-compliant products in 2019, but they will also look into alternative options to the ACA for Iowans.

“Wellmark is a trusted name around here,” said Youngdale. “It’s exciting to hear that they believe the individual under-65 market can work for my clients again.”