Thousands could lose Medicaid coverage under state review

DES MOINES — State officials say more than 3,000 Iowans are on track to lose their Medicaid coverage by June 1st.

During the pandemic, the state was forbidden from dis-enrolling anyone from Medicaid except in limited circumstances. That rule ended last month, which is when Iowa Health and Human Services officials started mailing out Medicaid eligibility re-determination forms. State Medicaid Director Elizabeth Matney says the state is trying multiple approaches to reach people.

“We’re following up via phone, phone call, text message,” Matney says, “and in some circumstances, especially for more vulnerable populations we are going out and knocking door to door.” About half of the forms have not yet been returned. Matney says that may be because the state is first targeting members who are most likely to no longer qualify.

“When we did a look at the 150,000-ish that we had flagged for maintaining eligibility due to the public health emergency, over 100,000 of those have other health insurance,” she says. State officials expect this Medicaid unwinding process to take about a year.