State officials announced this morning that nearly 120,000 Iowans have signed up for expanded Medicaid coverage.
Government-paid health care coverage for more low income Iowans was made available as part of the Affordable Care Act. Iowa policymakers passed a bipartisan deal called the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. State officials say members of this new plan are going to regular check-ups and taking wellness tests at a higher rate — and that will ultimately drive down costs because health issues will be identified and treated before they become more serious.
About 30,000 low income Iowans who’ve enrolled in the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan have also signed up for dental coverage this year.
The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan is for Iowans who live just above the poverty level and did not previously qualify for Medicaid because of their income. Iowa is among the states which accepted Medicaid expansion. Many states led by Republican governors refused the additional federal funding for Medicaid expansion, calling the program unaffordable in the long term.