State officials present Medicaid update to legislators

branstad health care planDES MOINES — State officials insist they are taking necessary steps to improve the transition to private management of Iowa’s $5 billion Medicaid program.

But many state lawmakers remain unconvinced.

Top state officials updated a panel of state legislators Monday on the managed Medicaid transition. The new system originally was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, but the federal government, which jointly funds Medicaid with the states, called for a 90-day delay when it concluded the state was not adequately prepared for the transition.

Iowa Medicaid director Mikki Stier and Department of Human Services director Chuck Palmer testified Monday the state remains on track for implementation March 1, when three private companies will assume management of the Medicaid program.

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