HHS Okays Iowa’s External Review Process

Reports from Des Moines state that the Department of Health and Human Services recently notified the state’s insurance division that its External Review process meets the standards set by the federal Affordable Care Act. Iowa’s External Review was enacted in 2000 from a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model and has always been consistent with the requirements of the federal law. The NAIC model was updated to be in consistency with the federal law provisions in 2010. It was recently updated and signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad. The state’s External review has been in effect since July 1, 2011.

The Iowa Insurance Division oversees all insurance transactions and businesses in the entire state. The division has control and enforces the state’s laws and regulations on all insurance and securities businesses in Iowa. It is in charge of investigating complaints by consumers and prosecutes companies, agents, or brokers who are found to have engaged in unfair trade practices. The Iowa Insurance Division is headed by an insurance commissioner whose duty is to oversee and provide directions to all individuals and companies involved in the sale of insurance. Susan Voss, the current insurance commissioner, has general control over all aspects of insurance business in the state and oversees all forms companies use in formulating the rates they charge for insurance premiums. She also has statutory authority over all activities involved in sale of securities as well as in other sale of other regulated products within the state.

In response to the affirmation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Susan Voss, Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner, stated that the state had always been consistent in its efforts for adopting laws that were beneficial to consumers. She emphasized on the importance of the new External Review law in provision of better tools of fairness and responsiveness in the insurance industry. She reiterated her pleasure for the affirmation that Iowa has consistently been on track with Affordable Care Act (ACA) laws and regulations. The approval of Iowa’s External Review process was welcomed by the insurance commissioner as an affirmation of the state’s commitment to fair trade practices and concern for consumers in the insurance industry.