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Harkin encourages Iowans to get covered through state’s new insurance marketplace

Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Tom Harkin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 1st, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) hailed the new protections and benefits for consumers as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In a video message, he encouraged Iowans to sign up for health coverage through the state’s new insurance marketplace.

As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA.  He also serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

“The Affordable Care Act has already brought a host of health care benefits to Iowans. This law puts consumers in the drivers’ seat and ensures that premium dollars are spent on quality, comprehensive care,” Harkin said. “Starting today, despite the government shutdown, the health insurance marketplace in our state—and similar marketplaces across the country—will be open for business, allowing all Iowans to get access to affordable, comprehensive care. For the first time, individuals and small businesses will have the same purchasing power and choice that only big companies enjoyed before.

“I will be working in the coming weeks and months to ensure that everyone is aware of the new consumer protections and benefits available to them as a result of the ACA, and I encourage Iowans to shop and enroll in health coverage through our state’s new marketplace.”

Starting today, Iowans can log onto or call 800-318-2596  (TTY: 1-855-889-4325 ) to learn about the state’s insurance marketplace and how to enroll. Coverage will begin January 1st, 2014.  Last week, a new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) showed that Iowa’s soon-to-open health insurance marketplace, created as a result of the Affordable Care Act(ACA), will offer Iowans health insurance choice and affordability.

As a result of the ACA, Iowans:

• Can receive tax credits to help afford quality coverage if meeting eligibility criteria;

• Will not be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions;

• Will not be charged more because of health status or gender;

• Can receive preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs;

• Can join their parents’ plan if they are a young adult under age 26;

• Pay less for prescription drugs;

• Receive guaranteed access for all to preventive services;

• Will not face lifetime limits on coverage.

The ACA is already benefiting Iowa:

  • More than 255,000 uninsured Iowans are eligible to enroll in the new health insurance marketplace;
  • 92 percent of eligible uninsured Iowans may get tax credits or Medicaid;
  • 20,000 more young adults in Iowa now have coverage through their parents’ plan;
  • Iowans received more than $147,246 in rebates from insurers — an average of $111.00 per family;
  • In Iowa, seniors on Medicare saved $76 million on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act;
  • Nearly 520,000 women in Iowa will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing;
  • More than 1.1 million Iowans and protected from lifetime limits on coverage
  • More than 350,000 Iowans on Medicare used one or more free preventive services in 2012.
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