The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 2, 2014

Another health care option

OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two.

"I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor.

He said it's his understanding that there may be a bit of wiggle room when it comes to that March 31 deadline for the Affordable Care Act.

"One thing I think has been glossed over is how that penalty can really add up," Kenning said. "For people who are thinking they'll just pay the penalty, they should rethink that."

Here's the thing, Kenning said: Those who have tried to sign up but had problems now have an extension (until April 15) to sign up. The wiggle room, Kenning believes, is in the definitions of both "tried" or "had problems." Those things can be pretty subjective.

"Everybody needs to sign up for it. I wouldn't stop," Kenning said.

Two subgroups really needing to register, Kenning worries, are young adults, who may not think about catastrophic health costs, and new immigrants, who may not be discussing the Affordable Care Act with peers.

The second possibility is to get coverage elsewhere. "In Wapello County, you can do the Marketplace (ACA) or the Iowa Health and Wellness plan — if you are within 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines. This plan is not too bad. It covers just about everything the ACA does."

An official with the state of Iowa said to think of Iowa Health and Wellness coverage as a type of Medicaid for more people.

"Medicaid expansion," explained Amy McCoy, public information officer for the Iowa Department of Human Services. "It's much more comprehensive. It [can be used] by residents ages 19 to 64 who were not previously eligible for Medicaid."

And there's no deadline, she said. Iowans could sign up today if they meet the income eligibility guidelines.

"So far, we've had about 85,000 people register for Iowa Health and Wellness," she said.

Those Iowans are not required to shop through the Obamacare website, McCoy confirmed.

— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

  • 0520 OTT mushroom provided -T -M Hidden treasure

    OTTUMWA — Yes, it's kind of like winning the lottery. A mushroom hunter and her family cheerfully acknowledged that feeling after stopping by the Ottumwa Courier on Monday. In one lucky search, they'd found hundreds of morels totaling 10 pounds. As u

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP National