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State

Branstad backs extension of health care policies

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa has agreed to a federal recommendation that will allow thousands of residents to hang onto health insurance policies that don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Branstad and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Wednesday that the state would grant the extension of plans through 2016.

The action will let about 330,000 Iowans retain their health insurance policies. Most buy their own insurance or are covered by small employers.

Without the move, some of those policies could be cancelled.

Branstad says in a statement that the decision gives Iowans the flexibility to maintain current coverage or shop for new plans available to them.

Eighteen other states have allowed plan extensions as permitted by federal regulations.

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