Iowa’s top insurer delays exchange participation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The chairman of Iowa’s leading health insurer says the company will not participate in the state’s health exchange during 2014.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield CEO John Forsyth said Monday that the insurer will enter the online insurance marketplace in 2015. He said the decision to delay was based on concern that implementation would be bumpy in year one.

Sunday was the deadline for insurance carriers to file for inclusion in the Iowa exchange next year. Iowa’s insurance commissioner announced Monday that six companies applied. Two will offer statewide plans for individuals, while the other four will offer plans with regional limits or that apply to group insurance.

Under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, states must have an exchange, with enrollment starting Oct. 1 and coverage Jan. 1.

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