Northwest Iowa — This past Friday was the day that 560-thousand Medicaid patients in northwest Iowa, and across the state, were switched to a private managed care system. On that day, about 3-thousand calls were made to the state “call center” created to help figure out benefits for Iowa Medicaid patients and the health care professionals who treat them.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad describes the transition as “smooth.”
State officials say the average wait time for people who’ve been calling the hotline for help was about two minutes on Friday. Administrators also say call volume was just about the same as it has in the weeks leading up to the switch. Branstad invited representatives of each of the three private companies now managing Iowa’s Medicaid system to his weekly news conference to tout new “add-on” services each now offers to Medicaid patients, like smoking cessation and well-baby programs.