2021 ACA health insurance open enrollment approaches


DES MOINES — Open enrollment begins Nov. 1, and ends Dec. 15 for Iowans purchasing or changing their Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual health coverage to become effective Jan. 1, 2021.

“While the ACA continues to be expensive for many Iowans, rates will come down as a result of new options within the individual market,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “As the ACA’s open enrollment season begins, Iowans considering individual plans should talk with a licensed insurance agent to thoroughly research all coverage options to determine the best plan for themselves and their families.”

Iowans can begin previewing sample premium amounts for individual ACA-compliant health insurance plans at https://data.iowa.gov/Health-Insurance/Sample-2021-Iowa-Individual-Affordable-Care-Act-Pr/tw59-kgrn/data for each of Iowa’s seven rating areas. These premium amounts will become official once posted to healthcare.gov during open enrollment beginning Nov. 1. The sample premiums are NOT a substitute for healthcare.gov. The sample premiums are based on geographical rating areas and do not account for the premium assistance tax credits available for many households.

Iowans who wish to purchase ACA-compliant coverage need to complete enrollment between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 to have coverage effective by Jan. 1, 2021. During open enrollment, Iowans may call 1-800-318-2596 or visit healthcare.gov for information regarding enrollment and to calculate applicable tax credits.

Local insurance agents, assisters and Iowa’s navigator are available to help Iowans review which insurance plan may best fit their needs. Iowans can find local help by visiting https://localhelp.HealthCare.gov/.

Important information about individual coverage for 2021:

* Medica, Oscar, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa will be offering ACA-compliant individual health insurance plans to Iowans for plan year 2021. Medica and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa will serve Iowans in all 99 counties while Oscar will serve Iowans in Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Madison, Marion, Mitchell, Plymouth, Polk, Warren, Woodbury, and Worth counties.

* If you currently have coverage through the exchange and do not choose a plan for 2021 by the end of open enrollment, you will be re-enrolled into the same or similar plan.

* If you are considering changing insurance carriers, double-check to ensure your preferred healthcare provider(s) are in-network and your prescription drugs will continue to be covered.

* Changes in federal and state regulation are opening other options for Iowans to find health coverage through a health benefit plan sponsored by a non-profit agricultural organization or through short-term limited duration plans.