AP News

Health care law will boost claim costs in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A study by the Society of Actuaries estimates that the new federal health care law will raise medical claims costs in Iowa by an average of 9.7 percent per person in the individual health insurance market.

Medical claims costs are the main driver of health insurance premiums. The study estimates that President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will raise claims costs nationally by an average of 32 percent per person in the individual health insurance market by 2017. That's partly due to sicker people joining the pool.

The study finds wide disparities among states.

The estimates assume every state will expand its Medicaid program. Gov. Terry Branstad has opposed expanding Medicaid in Iowa.

The report did not make similar estimates for employer plans, the mainstay for workers and their families.

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