Des Moines, Iowa — Federal officials have called for a 60-day delay in Governor Terry Branstad’s plan to move 560-thousand Iowans who get their health care coverage through Medicaid into managed care plans.
Governor Branstad and his staff wanted four private companies to start managing care for Medicaid patients January 1st. But officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say that timeline would cause “serious disruptions” for tens of thousands of Iowans. There are Medicaid beneficiaries who haven’t been able to figure out whether their doctor, hospital, caregiver or nursing home is part of one of these new managed care networks.
A letter sent to Branstad, however, indicates the federal government “will ultimately” grant the State of Iowa a waiver to shift all Iowa Medicaid patients into managed care plans. Governor Branstad has issued a written statement, calling that a “green light” to implement the switch on March 1st.