Low-income families enrolling in a joint federal-state health care program will soon have to verify the citizenship status of their kids under new guidelines approved by Congress. The program, known as HAWK-I, serves over 20,000 Iowa kids whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
Iowa Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns says the new proof of citizenship requirement will bring the kids program under the same guidelines as those for Medicaid. “It has been required for several years now for people who are enrolled in the Medicaid program,” Munns said. “But up to now, Congress had not required it for the much smaller children’s program.” Congress reauthorized the children’s program this year and the Iowa Legislature voted to expand HAWK-I to more families.
Munns does not expect the new requirement to produce any problems. “We don’t expect that it will have an impact because right now people are required to be citizens to be part of this program and our workers are trained and ask for documentation as necessary,” Munns said.