Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: November 29, 2017
DES MOINES – Citing continuing turmoil for Iowa’s Medicaid recipients, two key State Senators today called on Governor Kim Reynolds to give a break to more than 200,000 Medicaid recipients who were denied a choice of Medicaid providers.
In a letter delivered this afternoon, Sen. Amanda Ragan of Mason City and Sen. Liz Mathis of Hiawatha called on the Governor to grant an additional 30 days for former AmeriHealth members to choose either UnitedHealthcare or the fee-for-service system. A 30-day extension would address the concerns of Iowans who did not have a choice of managed care organizations, which directly affects which doctors, hospitals and other health care providers they can see.
“We are writing to you today to express our grave concerns about Medicaid,” the Senators wrote in their letter. “The loss of AmeriHealth Caritas and the inability of Amerigroup to take new members leaves too many Iowans without choice.”
The Senators also point out that federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries get a choice of managed care plans.
“It is a fundamental, legal requirement to offer Medicaid beneficiaries a choice of managed care plans. It is completely unfair to offer the fee-for-service system to only those members that were able to make a choice before November 16,” the Senators stated. “Due to the lack of timely notice, more than 200,000 Iowans are being assigned to United Healthcare, regardless of their preference.
“In the name of fairness and choice, we are requesting that you grant an additional 30 days for former AmeriHealth members to choose either UnitedHealthcare or the fee-for-service system.”
Senator Ragan is Ranking Member of the Health & Human Services Budget. Senator Mathis is Ranking Member on the Human Resources Committee.