Some Iowans qualify for free insurance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Some Iowans qualify for free insurance

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KWWL -

For many people, health insurance costs are changing.

As most people are concerned about higher premiums, thousands of Iowans can qualify for free coverage, and they can start enrolling Wednesday.

However, there's a curveball surrounding Affordable Health Care.

In an odd twist, President Trump's recent decision has some unintended consequences.

Payments to some insurers were eliminated, and that money helps lower the cost of co-payments and deductibles. 

However, even as you take out that subsidy, there's a tax credit, and it will increase if insurance companies raise their rates.

That impact means more money for health coverage. 

Open enrollment started Nov. 1, and it wraps up Dec. 15.

From now til then, Iowans have the option to shop for insurance at healthcare.gov.

In an odd twist, some low-income people will have the the option to apply for a basic Bronze plan, for free.

"But a bronze plan being less expensive anyway to begin with, now you have a larger tax credit being applied across the board making some of the bronze plans that ordinarily that would have had a small premium, now became free," Lincoln Savings Bank Senior Vice President, Gary Winterhof said.

Winterhof is a licensed agent, and he helps companies and people shop for the best plans.

While some of his clients will be paying more for their premiums, some Iowans Iowans won't have to pay anything.

"There is probably going to be an additional 5,000 to 8,000 people that could purchase a plan at no cost, or a bronze plan at no cost, that maybe would not have been eligible before," Winterhof said.

Gary said the confusion surrounding Affordable Health Care is only making his job that much more difficult.

"To make sure my clients ended up with a plan that was affordable. Because I knew the premiums were going to go up even further, and not everyone is eligible for a tax credit or assistance in their premium," Winterhof said.

As a reminder, open enrollment is shorter this year at just six weeks long.

Gary said healthcare.gov will be shut down every Sunday to perform website maintenance, so he recommend finding a licensed agent as soon as possible to find the best plan that works for you.

If you have any questions, you can find a licensed agent here.

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