Health

Iowa Medicaid open choice ends this month

Members have until Sept. 30 to switch insurer

Enrollment information is shown for managed-care organizations in Iowa’s Medicaid privatization plan. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Enrollment information is shown for managed-care organizations in Iowa’s Medicaid privatization plan. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Iowa Medicaid members have until the end of this month to switch insurers.

All members of Iowa’s IA Health Link and Hawk-i programs are in an open choice period this month, meaning members can change their managed-care organization for any reason through Sept. 30.

That will be the last opportunity members will have to change managed-care organizations until the annual choice period, unless a member requests a switch for reasons of good cause, according to a release from Iowa Medicaid Enterprises.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Human Services, which oversees Iowa Medicaid, instituted an open choice period earlier this year when a new managed-care organization joined the state’s program. Iowa Total Care, a subsidiary of Centene, officially started July 1.

Iowa Total Care joined Amerigroup Iowa as a private insurance company contracted by the state to administer coverage for Iowa Medicaid members. The state’s $5 billion program administers health coverage for more than 625,000 poor and disabled Iowans.

If a member chooses a new managed-care organization by Sept. 18, coverage will be effective Oct. 1, state officials said.

For any change made between Sept. 19 and 30, coverage will be effective Nov. 1.

To switch managed a care organizations, members should contact Iowa Medicaid Enterprises member services at 1-800-338-8366.

As of Monday, Amerigroup Iowa has about 355,000 members and Iowa Total Care has about 244,000 members, said Matt Highland, Iowa Department of Human Services spokesman.

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Since its launch July 1, Iowa Total Care has paid more than 220,000 total claims from all Medicaid provider types totaling over $50 million, according to Iowa Medicaid Enterprises.

For more information on the open choice period, go to dhs.iowa.gov/iahealthlink/memberchoice.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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