If you or someone you care about accesses services using Medicaid, you should be following the changes in Iowa’s Medicaid system.  These changes represent some of the most significant changes in the disability system in the past 40 years.

Iowa has selected four Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s) that will be responsible for managing all 560,000 Iowans who use Medicaid.  Each Iowan will be assigned an initial MCO in the next few months. The four MCO’s that will be working in Iowa include: Amerigroup, AmeriHealth Caritas, United HealthCare and WellCare.

The Homestead is working closely with all four MCO’s to review contracts.  It is our intent to have agreements with all four before December 31, 2015.  If that happens then you should be able to continue Medicaid funding regardless of your MCO.  As of January 1, 2016, the MCO’s are responsible for paying for Medicaid services.

Each Medicaid participant will have a choice of the MCO that coordinates their services.  There will be designated times when a Medicaid participant can move from one MCO to another.  At this time, we encourage all individuals receiving services from The Homestead to remain with the MCO they are assigned until there is a reason to move.

Watch for correspondence from the Department of Human Services or from one of the four MCO’s. Each MCO has a very short timeframe to enroll their assigned 140,000 participants and contract with all 25,000 Medicaid providers.  They are also hiring staff and learning quickly about the needs of Iowans.  It will be a steep learning curve for MCO’s and all providers as we try to negotiate new funding procedures.  Fortunately, The Homestead has had some great experiences working with a variety of funding streams that closely model these MCO’s.  We expect we can pull together workable solutions.

This step was taken to help Iowa improve the service delivery system and build efficiencies.  There will be many questions that pop up over the coming months. As you have questions we encourage you to follow changes at our Facebook page, my blog at www.TheHomestead.org or by visiting with your professional contact at The Homestead.

It is our hope that this new direction has little to no change on those we serve.  Of course, we won’t know that for sure until well into the next year.  We will continue to advocate for you.

Thank you for entrusting our team to support you or your loved one.