Over 70,000 Iowans will lose their access to health care on January 1st, 2018. For all these thousands of Iowans this is an urgent emergency. It is a catastrophic blow to these Iowa families’ ability to have access to quality healthcare. Lacking the opportunity to buy health insurance coverage for themselves and their families puts them into a healthcare crisis.
The three principle insurance companies offering coverage: Wellmark, Aetna and Medica have announced that they plan to leave Iowa’s Obamacare exchange effective 2018. The future of Gunderson, a small carrier handling a few counties in NE Iowa, is unknown.
These Iowans’ only remaining option will be to seek hospital emergency room services. Hospital emergency rooms are the choice of last resort, the most inefficient use of health care resources and fail to offer adequate health care. They don’t offer preventive care, and it’s called emergency because that’s the mission. It isn’t meant to provide routine health care needs.
It is simply unacceptable that Iowa’s Republican political leadership is ignoring and claiming they can’t act on this looming health care emergency. Doug Ommen, Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner, says his hands are tied and denies he can act.