The state will provide oversight of Medicaid benefits for about 10,000 Iowans who could not gain coverage through the two remaining managed care companies participating in Iowa’s program. At the same time, Iowa’s new health director gave his agency and the Medicaid program positive marks in a presentation to Gov. Kim Reynolds. Meanwhile, court rulings in Arkansas and Louisiana impact funding for Planned Parenthood.
Des Moines Register:
Reynolds Defends Privatized Medicaid After Weeks Of Changes
Gov. Kim Reynolds defended Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program Tuesday, the day after state officials announced that some Medicaid recipients again will see a change in their coverage options. … Iowa shifted to a privatized Medicaid system in 2016 under former Gov. Terry Branstad, hiring three private companies to manage benefits and coordinate care for Iowans. Last month, AmeriHealth, the largest of those three companies, threw a wrench in the system when it announced it would withdraw from the program on Thursday. That left 215,000 Medicaid recipients looking for coverage from one of the two remaining companies: Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare. (Pfannenstiel, 11/28
Des Moines Register:
Despite Controversies, Iowa DHS’ Foxhoven Gives Agency Glowing Marks
Although the Iowa Department of Human Services has been embroiled in several controversies over the past year, director Jerry Foxhoven gave a glowing assessment of his agency Tuesday in a budget presentation to Gov. Kim Reynolds. Foxhoven, who has been on the job fewer than six months, described Iowa’s Medicaid health care program for low-income patients as having high levels of customer satisfaction. He said it’s one of the best states in the country for overall child well-being and for mental health treatment. (Petroski, 11/28)
Arkansas Cuts Off Medicaid Funds To Planned Parenthood Following Court Ruling
Arkansas has once again cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood following a recent court ruling. The state’s Department of Human Services said it terminated Planned Parenthood’s status as a Medicaid provider last week when the court’s ruling formally took effect, according to The Associated Press. (Hellmann, 11/28)
The Associated Press:
Court Tie Means Louisiana Planned Parenthood Keeps Funding
A deeply divided federal appeals court in New Orleans refused Tuesday to reconsider a ruling that lets Planned Parenthood facilities in the state continue to receive Medicaid funding. The vote was 7-7 among the 14 active judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which currently has three vacancies. (McGill, 11/29)
In other Medicaid news –
Sanders Proposes Lifting Medicaid Cap For Puerto Rico
New legislation from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would lift the federal cap on Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in an attempt to put the territories on equal footing with the rest of the country. The provision is part of a $146 billion recovery plan for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands that Sanders unveiled Tuesday, and could help the territories overcome a major Medicaid funding crisis. (Weixel, 11/28)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.