Zane Benefits Publishes New Information on the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange

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Iowa Health Insurance Exchange to Open in October 2013 for Individuals, Families, and Small Businesses

Today, Zane Benefits, Inc. published new information on the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange. Zane Benefits, which provides comprehensive and flexible alternatives to traditional employer sponsored health benefits, is the leader in defined contribution health plans and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

According to Zane Benefits’ website, beginning in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance coverage for individuals and small businesses will become available through new state Health Insurance Exchanges. The key tax credits (e.g. the small business healthcare tax credits) and tax subsidies (e.g. individual health insurance tax subsidies) will only be available for coverage purchased through a state Health Insurance Exchange.

All states were presented three options for setting up a state Health Insurance Exchange for 2014: Building a State-Based Exchange, entering into a State-Federal Partnership Exchange, or defaulting to a Federally-Facilitated Exchange. Iowa is planning to enter a state-federal partnership Exchange, and transition to a state-based Exchange by 2015.

History of the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange
According to Zane Benefits’ website, Iowa originally formed the Health Benefit Exchange, a collaboration of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Insurance Division, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Iowa Department of Revenue. The committee was tasked with making recommendations for Iowa's Health Insurance Exchange.

On December 14, 2012, Governor Terry Branstad announced to the federal government that Iowa would pursue a state-federal partnership Exchange. Iowa plans to oversee plan management functions of the Exchange and will continue to perform Medicaid and CHIP eligibility determinations. Iowa plans to work toward a state-based exchange by 2015.

On March 5, 2013, Iowa received conditional approval from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish a state-federal partnership Exchange. Final approval is contingent upon the Iowa meeting all Exchange activities on time. If Iowa does not meet milestones on time, Iowa will default to a federally-facilitated Exchange.

Iowa Health Insurance Exchange

According to Zane Benefits’ website, the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange will be an online marketplace where Iowa residents will be able to shop for and compare insurance plans, access any applicable insurance premium tax credits, and be screened for eligibility in public assistance programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. The SHOP Exchange will be available to small businesses in Iowa for businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

According to healthcare.gov, 255,072 or 10% of Iowa’s non-elderly residents are uninsured, of whom 234,100 (92%) may qualify for either tax credits to purchase coverage in the Marketplace or for Medicaid if Iowa participates in the Medicaid expansion (Iowa is still undecided as of May 9, 2013 if they are participating in Medicaid expansion).

Iowa residents and small employers can receive assistance from Navigators, in-person assistors, and insurance agents and brokers. The Iowa Health Insurance Exchange will open October 1, 2013 for enrollment, with coverage starting January 1, 2014.

Plans Available through the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange

According to Zane Benefits’ website, under the Affordable Care Act, all insurance plans sold on the Iowa Health Insurance Exchange will be qualified health plans (QHPs) that meet federal requirements and provide essential health benefits (EHB). The Exchange will offer uniform plans categorized in four "metal" levels of value. These metal levels are intended to allow consumers to compare plans with different levels of coverage for EHB.

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About Zane Benefits
Zane Benefits was founded in 2006 to provide a revolutionized SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) administration platform ("ZaneHRA") for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and defined contribution health care. The flagship software provides a 100% paperless administration experience to employers and insurance professionals that want to offer better health benefits without a traditional group health insurance plan at lower costs. For more information about ZaneHRA, visit http://www.zanebenefits.com.

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Christina Merhar
Zane Benefits
800-391-9209 6725
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