State continues clearing Medicaid roll

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services says it has taken more than 160,000 people off the Medicaid roll in the past seven months who no longer qualify.

HHS Director Kelly Garcia says they check several things when making the changes. “So we have a variety of different systems that pull down and extract data and, and populate the forms ahead of time and we work very hard on that,” Garcia says.

Preliminary state data shows 70% of those removed through October were for procedural reasons, like not returning required paperwork. Director Garcia says the information they use also helps them ensure they are not taking people off the list that are still eligible. “We feel comfortable with what that looks like. Because we’ve been able to see how many individuals are continuously insured through another form or there’s been an income change in their status as well,” she says.

They started looking to remove people following the end of a COVID-19 pandemic era federal requirement that required states to keep most people enrolled in Medicaid, even if they no longer qualified. The state data shows more than 15,000 people who were taken off the Medicaid roll have had their coverage reinstated.