The Ottumwa Courier

July 9, 2013

Iowa insurer's cash reserve size questioned


Ottumwa Courier

---- — DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two state senators want Iowa to investigate whether the state's dominant health insurer really needs $1.3 billion in reserves.

Sens. Jack Hatch and Matt McCoy, both Des Moines Democrats, are skeptical about Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield's reserves because Wellmark has decided against participating next year in the state's health insurance exchange.

Wellmark did not respond to a request for comment.

The Des Moines Register reports that (http://dmreg.co/12o6tlY ) Hatch delivered a letter Monday to Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart, asking for the investigation. Hatch says state regulations require the insurer to have reserves of only $350 million.

Gerhart said last month he might investigate Wellmark's need for the large reserve if the company didn't take the risk of entering the exchange.

------

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com