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Healthy Iowa Plan 

As we might have heard there is an ongoing debate about expanding Medicaid or renewing and expanding the Iowa Cares program which has now been renamed the Healthy Iowa Plan. The proposal expanding Medicaid in Iowa would add an additional 153,000 Iowans to the Medicaid rolls with the federal government paying 100 percent the first three years, then promising to pay 90 percent the following years. My largest concern is there is no guarantee that our government will follow through with their promise to pay. Assuming we someday send elected officials who decide to spend less than they take in, it is my belief this Medicaid expansion would fall on the taxpayers of Iowa.

The Healthy Iowa Plan will utilize Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) being established in Medicaid and the private sector. Plan participants will have a medical home that will work to coordinate their care.  That coordination leads to healthier outcomes than the patchwork Medicaid system. It provides a commercial-like benefits package that includes in and outpatient services, physician services, prescription drugs, home health, durable medical equipment, therapies and some transportation. The new plan rewards health care providers for helping make Iowans healthier.  The Healthy Iowa Plan uses a value-based reimbursement model to incentivize ACOs and the health care delivery system. This means providers no longer have a fee-for-service model; rather they focus on quality outcomes for Iowans. This payment methodology is modeled after those seen in the private sector.

 The Healthy Iowa Plan would cover all of the approximately 89,000 uninsured Iowans earning below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Individuals above 100% FPL are eligible for tax credits to purchase affordable private health insurance through the Health Insurance Exchange. The tax credits alone will reduce Iowa’s uninsured population by more than half.  Purchasing private insurance on the exchange gives people the opportunity to choose what is best for them and their family.

 The Healthy Iowa Plan, unlike Medicaid, is designed to implement personal responsibility mechanisms to encourage members to be cost conscious consumers of health care. The Healthy Iowa Plan: 

• Provides individual accounts designed to help pay for copays and deductible expenses.

• Requires individuals to make monthly contributions to their account and provides State matching contributions to help pay for out of pocket expenses.

• Allows individuals to earn bonus contributions to their account for completing risk assessments and preventative services.

• Potentially eliminates required contributions for the very low income (below 50% of FPL) through participation in the Healthy Behaviors Program.


Please join me at one of my upcoming Urbandale forums with my good friend Representative John Forbes, sponsored by the Great Urbandale Chamber Offices 2900 Justin Drive Urbandale.

Saturday March 30 10:30-12:00
Saturday April 27 10:30-12:00

Please join me at one of my upcoming Johnston/Grimes forums with my good friend Representative Jake Highfill, at:

Rich’s Brew 
5800 Merle Hay Road Suite 9 Johnston

Saturday April 6 10:00-11:00

Gortz Haus
408 East 1st Street Grimes

Saturday April 6   11:30-12:30

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