Iowa residents have many affordable health insurance plans to choose from. On average, a full coverage health insurance plan in your state costs around $440 a month, but rates can start as low as $320 a month. Most plans allow you to add on dental and vision coverage; these add-ons cost around $43 a month for dental and can be as low as $10 a month for vision. Some Iowa residents even qualify for free health insurance. It’s important to note that all rates and levels of coverage vary depending on several factors like your age, health, and household size among other things, so you’ll need to look into all of your options to find the best fit for you.
Iowa Health Insurance Companies
Iowa has several affordable health insurance options offered by multiple insurance companies. The top three insurers in the state are:
Through sections of Nebraska, Iowa, and other neighboring states, Medica provides access to a broad network of doctors, clinics, and hospitals. More than 8,290 doctors, 55 clinics, and 133 hospitals are part of the Medica network.
The PPO Medica Insure plan is available in all counties, although specific counties, like the Council Bluffs Metro region, may provide additional affordable plans.
Every time you travel, you’ll also have countrywide coverage with a Medica plan. People in Iowa who want the flexibility of a PPO plan should consider Medica.
Wellmark BlueCross BlueShield
In Iowa, Wellmark has a network that includes 100% of hospitals and 99% of physicians in the state. Wellmark’s PPO plans are High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), making them health savings account (HSA) eligible. If you opt for a HDHP with a HSA, you will be able to put aside money tax-free to pay for qualifying medical expenses.
Wellmark plans include free preventive care like mammograms, annual exams, and well-child checkups. The majority of medications are covered by the Blue Simplicity RX coverage. When traveling, you can also see any of the BlueCross BlueShield providers around the country.
Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation
With the help of Wellmark, the Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation (IFBF) is able to offer three HMO plans, one of which is a HDHP with a HSA. To be eligible, you must join the foundation, which can cost $55 or less, depending on where you live.
Self-employed individuals, those without insurance, those with short-term plans, and those who cannot afford coverage through a spouse’s employer plan should consider IFBF. And because IFBF collaborates with Wellmark, you get benefits like free preventive care and access to Wellmark’s extensive provider network.
Health Insurance Marketplace in Iowa
If you’re looking for health insurance in Iowa, a great place to start is the health insurance Marketplace. Marketplace health insurance, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, offers certain consumer protections, guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions, and includes coverage for what are known as the “10 essential health benefits”:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care)
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (including counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)
The ACA-compliant plans offered on the Marketplace are divided into different types, known as metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. These tiers do not signal a difference in quality of care, though. The tiers differ in your out-of-pocket costs versus what your plan covers.
It’s important to remember that the Marketplace only offers the plans of participating providers. So unfortunately, while the Marketplace is a great tool, you may not be able to compare every plan available to you.
Whether you want a Marketplace plan, or a plan from a private insurer, an EZ agent can help. We work with all carriers in your state to compare all options available.
Iowa’s Short Term Health Insurance Guidelines
If you’ve missed the health insurance Open Enrollment Period (OEP) or have a need for health insurance for a short amount of time, short-term plans are a great option. It’s important to note, though, that these policies tend to only cover the basics, and you can be denied one of these plans if you have a pre-existing condition.
There are some rules around short-term plans, though, both at the federal and the state level. Some states choose to have their own guidelines separate from federal guidelines, or not offer short-term plans at all, but Iowa has chosen to follow federal guidelines. That means in Iowa, you can get a short-term health insurance plan for an initial term of 364 days. You can then renew your plan up to three times, giving you almost three years of coverage.
Iowa’s short-term plans differ from short-term plans in other states in other ways, though. Usually, short-term health insurance does not have to offer the same coverage, and isn’t regulated in the same way, as ACA plans are. But in 2020, Iowa passed new laws that now require short-term plans to have certain minimum levels of coverage, and place caps on out-of-pocket costs.
Iowa Health Insurance Resources
Finding health insurance can be frustrating and time-consuming, but there are plenty of resources you can use to find a plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.
You should ask your employer about what health insurance they offer, if any, since employer-sponsored plans are often cheaper than individual or family plans. Many employers offer these benefits, even though the state does not require them to do so.
Government-funded programs are also another resource you can look into. If you’re 65 or older, or living with a qualifying disability, you may qualify for a low-cost plan from Medicare. Or if you meet certain low-income requirements, you may qualify for free coverage through Medicaid.
But the best way to compare all of your options is by working with an agent. An EZ agent can compare all of your options for coverage, price, and carriers in minutes!
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How to Get the Most Savings
Iowa is one of the least expensive states for healthcare. It ranks 36 out of all 50 states for healthcare spending per capita, with an annual average healthcare spending per person per year of $9,265. But even with the lower price tag in your state, there are still a few ways you can save money on your health insurance, and your healthcare costs in general.
Health insurance companies look into your health when assessing your risks, most notably your body mass index, or BMI. In Iowa, 33.9% of adults are obese; if you’re in this category, you might find that you have to pay higher premiums.
Smoking is another red flag for insurance companies. 14.6% of adults in Iowa are smokers, and if you’re among them, you should consider quitting, since non-smokers’ health insurance can be up to 50% cheaper than that of smokers. Not to mention the health benefits (and the lower healthcare costs!) you’ll get by quitting.
Working with an agent is still the easiest way to save on your health insurance, though. An EZ agent can actually save you hundreds of dollars a year on your health insurance. How do we do it? By assessing your needs and budget, so we can shop for the most affordable plan for you. Not only that, but we can also find any local discounts available to you. And all our services are always free!
Iowa Health Insurance FAQS
Does Iowa require you to have health insurance?
While the ACA still says citizens are required to have health insurance, there is no longer a federal tax penalty for not having coverage. And Iowa is not one of the few states that still has a tax penalty for not having insurance.
What is the cheapest health insurance in Iowa?
The cheapest health plan will be a Bronze plan, which can start as low as $320 a month. Remember, though, health insurance plan prices can vary depending on age, zip code, gender, and other factors.
How much does health insurance cost in Iowa?
The average monthly premium for health insurance in Iowa is $440, or $5,280 per year, with plans as low as $320 a month to as high as $1,093. But do not let these numbers scare you. Many uninsured people in Iowa qualify for a $0 Bronze plan and don’t even know it.
Which insurance companies offer plans in Iowa?
Medica Insurance Company, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation, and UnitedHealthcare are all companies that offer insurance in Iowa.
How to Enroll in Health Insurance in Iowa
There are a few different ways to enroll in a health insurance plan in Iowa. You can enroll through your employer if they offer a group plan or enroll directly through your chosen company. Iowa also uses the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, where you can compare and shop for health plans offered from participating companies. It’s important to note, though, that not all insurers offer all their plans on the Marketplace, so you should talk to an agent about all of your options.
In fact, no matter which way you prefer to enroll, EZ is here to help. Our agents can help walk you through the enrollment process step-by-step and go over all of your needs. After reviewing all the information, you provide, we compare all of the options available, and help you choose the best one.
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3557. When you call, you will be directly connected to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions and help you find the health insurance plan that works best for you.