What Iowans need to know about insurance

By Kevin Kinney

Recent health care news has left many Iowans frustrated and confused.

Most Iowans get health care coverage through their employer, through a health insurance plan they purchase on their own, or through public health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Below are a couple of changes Iowans should be aware of as we head into 2018.

Buying your own health insurance

Iowans who plan to buy their own health insurance can enroll through Dec. 15. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit HealthCare.gov to learn about enrolling and to see if you qualify for subsidies to help pay for your coverage.

Medica is the only insurer offering plans to Iowans who purchase their own health insurance for 2018. Medica will offer different insurance plans depending on your county of residence.

Medica Insure will be available in 72 counties, including Johnson, Keokuk and Washington. This is an open-access provider network with tiered copays. If you use preferred health care providers, you?ll have lower deductibles and co-pays. Medica Insure has more than 13,000 primary and specialty care providers and more than 250 hospitals.

What to do if you have Medicaid through AmeriHealth.

AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa is one of three private ?Managed Care Organizations? that have been running Iowa?s privatized Medicaid since April 2016. The company announced that they will stop operating in Iowa at the end of the month.

Now 215,000 Iowans must switch to a different insurer and may have to find new doctors. Medicaid members should watch their mail for important details on how to make these changes. If you have questions, call Iowa Medicaid Member Services at 1-800-338-8366.

This is a legislative update from State Senator Kevin Kinney, representing Keokuk, Washington and Johnson counties. For bio, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/kinney.

To contact Senator Kinney when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise, he can be reached at 319-631-4667.