Vocal Hearing About Insurance Premium Increase - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Vocal Hearing About Insurance Premium Increase

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 by Phil Prazan




Wellmark, the state's largest insurance company is trying to raise rates.

If it goes through; 150,000 individual policy holders will see their premiums increase 12-13%.

But first, Wellmark had to face the community.

Iowans took their case to the state health insurance commissioner Saturday, pleading to keep this increase to around 5%.
Mercy College had a packed room of people voicing their opinions about the proposed increase.  Most of the speakers passionately disagreed with the choice.

A Wellmark executive was there to represent why the rate increases were happening.  The company says they need to increase the fees to pay for the constant uptick in medical usage; as the country becomes less healthy and the increase in medication prices.

Executive Laura Jackson says if the fees aren't allowed to increase, Wellmark will run in to financial troubles.
"It would cause us to lose money and we would actually have to look at ways where we could, not necessarily make it up in other ways but we would have to really question if we could continue to offer some of these policies," says Jackson.
The state health insurance commissioner has until the end of the month to decide.

A new commissioner starts February 1st.

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