Health

Open enrollment period starts this week for Medicaid members

Iowans have option to switch leading to new managed care organization start date

Enrollment information for managed-care organizations in Iowa's Medicaid privatization plan, photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Enrollment information for managed-care organizations in Iowa's Medicaid privatization plan, photographed in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Starting Monday, Iowa Medicaid members now have the option to switch their managed care organization.

The arrival of a new managed care organization — one of the insurance companies that administer Medicaid coverage in Iowa — in a few months has triggered an open choice period for IA Health Link members, according to an announcement from Iowa Medicaid Enterprises.

The open choice period will run until June 18, during which members can choose to enroll with any managed care organization — including Iowa Total Care, the new insurer set to join the state market on the first of July.

A subsidiary of Centene Corp., Iowa Total Care was selected to join Iowa’s privatized program nearly a year ago and will administer member coverage starting July 1.

The company will be the third managed care organization — along with Amerigroup Iowa and UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley — to manage the $5 billion program that provides health coverage for more than 600,000 disabled and poor Iowans.

And as the July 1 start date draws closer, some members may be shifted in the program.

Throughout March, enrollees will receive an assignment for a managed care organization — which may be different from the current insurer they are with currently — the Iowa Department of Human Services said.

However, the open choice period will allow members to chose any managed care organization with which to enroll. If they want to switch back, or decide to go to a new managed care organization, members can do so until June 18.

After July 1, members can change their managed care organization until Sept. 30 for any reason.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

However, after Sept. 30 and until the next annual choice period, members must have a good cause to switch their managed care organization.

A similar open choice will take place for Hawk-i members this summer, officials said.

Members can change their managed care organization in three ways:

• Email Iowa Medicaid Member Services at IMEMemberServices@dhs.state.ia.us.

• Call Iowa Medicaid Member Services at 1-800-338-8366.

• Return a MCO enrollment form to Member Services, P.O. Box 36510, Des Moines, Iowa 50315.

More information about the open choice period can be found at the Department of Human Services’ website at https://dhs.iowa.gov/iahealthlink/memberchoice.

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.