Medicaid enrollments could be delayed in Iowa
DES MOINES (AP) — Thousands of Iowa residents seeking to enroll in state health plans for the poor may not have the coverage by Jan. 1, a newspaper reported Thursday.
According to The Des Moines Register, federal officials have not yet provided the state with complete information on more than 10,000 people that appear eligible for public coverage for low-income residents, like Medicaid.
The state needs the data to be able to enroll people in programs. The delay means the applicants, who enrolled through the federal sign-up website as instructed, may not be able to see a doctor in January.
Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy said the state is still waiting on information to process 7,400 applications, covering 10,400 people that federal authorities gave preliminary approval for programs like Medicaid.
“Federal officials have indicated that they will send more complete information by the end of the month, and then the state will begin making determinations,” McCoy wrote in an email. “We are working to ensure that most Iowans who applied at healthcare.gov and who are eligible for Medicaid (or Hawk-I) will still have coverage effective Jan. 1.”
McCoy said that if someone needs to see a health care provider during the interim period, her department can’t guarantee coverage.
A spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said they are working to get the proper information to Iowa, though they couldn’t say if it would be there by the end of December.
If the state establishes that people are eligible for coverage after January 1, the acceptance would be retroactive to the beginning of the month. But if people are not eligible, they’ll have to return to the federal enrollment site to seek private insurance.
These issues do not impact those already enrolled in Medicaid.