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Senator Ragan advises: Prepare for Medicaid & Hawki changes

This news story was published on May 24, 2019.
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Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

Another Medicaid transition is coming July 1, as UnitedHealthcare leaves Iowa.

I understand that these changes can be confusing and worrisome, and I want Iowans to have all the information and resources they need to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Those currently with UnitedHealthcare will be assigned to another MCO (Amerigroup or Iowa Total Care), but will have the option to change that assignment. For coverage to be effective July 1, members must submit their MCO choice to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) by June 18.

Members may change their MCO for any reason until September 30. After that, they must show good cause to make a change or wait until their annual choice period rolls around.

According to DHS, benefits should remain the same as long as a member’s eligibility does not change. Prior authorizations by UnitedHealthcare will be honored for 90 days after July 1.

A majority of current Hawki members are enrolled with UnitedHealthcare. Hawki is health coverage for uninsured children from lower-income working families.

Hawki members will receive their new MCO assignment via letters to be mailed June 17-21, with coverage effective July 1. Hawki members may change their MCO for any reason until September 30.

Because of a system change for Hawki, some households (424) will see an increase in their premiums; some (259 households) will see the loss of medical benefits; and some will be moved from Hawki to regular Medicaid (80 households). Letters were sent to these households on May 1 explaining the changes and allowing them time to re-enroll in the program.

If you have questions about Medicaid, Hawki or MCO changes, you can contact Member Services or Provider Services:

Ragan: “These students from Mrs. Schaefer’s class at CAL Community School were full of questions about state government. It is always interesting to hear the different questions from students when I visit their classrooms.”

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