A new Iowa health care bill is making life easier for those struggling with their insurance costs, but it’s also driving down costs for many middle-income families, according to a new analysis.
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services released its first analysis of the bill this week, which finds that the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies would drop the average family’s premium from $2,619 to $1,878.
The savings would be especially significant for lower-income Americans, as the tax credits would only be available to families with incomes between 100 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
The analysis also found that Iowa would save $1.6 billion in 2018, compared to the state’s current projections.
It was conducted by the Iowa Insurance Institute and the University of Iowa Center for Health Policy and Research.
The bill was written by Sen. David Boren, R-Neb., a moderate Democrat who also is running for governor in 2020.
The legislation would allow Iowaans to buy private insurance, which is already available in more than half the state.
The new law, known as the Affordable Health Care Act, would expand insurance options for low-income adults and provide tax credits to help cover premiums.
The law was passed in 2009 by President Barack Obama.
It has also been criticized for imposing higher costs on middle-class and poor people.
Boren’s bill is the latest attempt to address some of those concerns, which could drive down premiums.
“It is not clear yet how many families will be able to use this new law to pay for health insurance premiums and deductibles,” the analysis states.
“However, the Affordable Healthcare Act will provide a lot of assistance to low- and moderate-income people, especially the middle- and upper-middle-income individuals.
This new law will likely lead to fewer uninsured people in Iowa, and lower premiums for middle- income families.”
A new report released this week by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute found that the ACA has helped to lower premiums, especially for lower income Americans.
The report found that while the number of people uninsured in Iowa has been falling for more than a decade, the number uninsured among those earning between $20,000 and $44,999 has increased by roughly 25 percent since the ACA passed.
But the cost of health insurance is still a major factor, especially among lower- and middle-middle income people.
The study found that a single middle-earner earning $20 an hour, or $26,000, would pay nearly $1 million more for health coverage in 2019 under Boren and other GOP leaders in the Iowa Legislature.
This means that if the state had gone the cost-sharing-reduction route with its uninsured people, they would have been able to buy a plan at an average premium of $1:1, the study found.
The nonpartisan Kaiser Health Tracking Program, a national research organization, also found in a 2017 analysis that about half of Iowa’s middle-aged adults and 50 percent of Iowaans aged 50 and older have insurance.
But a similar report released in April by the Urban League found that about 3 in 10 Iowa residents without insurance in 2019 are expected to remain uninsured.
The state’s insurance marketplace, the Iowa Health Connector, has seen an enrollment surge of nearly 300,000 people since the beginning of 2019.
The program was established to make it easier for middle class and low- to moderate- income Iowaans, but critics say it is hurting the state economically.
The Affordable Health Health Act was passed by the Obama administration in 2009 and became law in 2014.
The act expanded the number and types of benefits that insurers can offer, and was designed to allow insurers to cover lower-cost patients who would otherwise be unable to afford coverage.
But critics say the law is causing more people to leave the insurance market than enrolling.