Thursday is deadline to change your assigned Medicaid MCO

Thursday is the deadline to switch your Medicaid MCO. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad privatized the administration of the state's $4.2 billion Medicaid system, which serves about 560,000 Iowans or 22 percent of the state's population.

Thursday, June 16 is the last day to change your Medicaid MCO (Managed Care Organization) for “any reason,” the Dallas County Public Health Department announced today.

Once the deadline passes, Medicaid consumers may only switch MCOs for a “good cause,” for instance, because your doctor is not in the MCO network to which they are assigned.

New Medicaid members whose MCO coverage began after April 1, 2016, continue to have 90 days from their choice-period end date to change their MCO for any reason. This date can be found on the member’s enrollment letter or by calling Iowa Medicaid Member Services.

Members may change their MCO by calling Iowa Medicaid Member Services at 1-800-338-8366 or 515-256-4606 from the Des Moines area, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The $4.2 billion privatization of the state’s Medicaid program affects about 560,000 Iowans, about 22 percent of the state’s population. At the direction of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the Iowa Department of Human Services put out the state’s low-income health care insurance system to bid last summer.

Three MOCs were awarded contracts with the state: Virginia-based Amerigroup, Pennsylvania-based Amerihealth Caritas and Illinois-based UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley.

The governor contends privatizing the state’s administration of Medicaid will save money and increase efficiency. Critics of privatization predict it will lead to cuts in services as the private companies seek to maximize profits.



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