Last Friday, about 3,000 calls were made to the state “call center” created to help figure out benefits for Iowa Medicaid patients and the health care professionals who treat them.
Friday was the day Iowa’s 560,000 Medicaid patients were switched to a private managed care system. Governor Terry Branstad describes the transition as “smooth.
“Nothing of this magnitude is going to be totally glitch-free,” Branstad says. “But the reports I’ve been geting is that it’s relative smooth and, you know, there are all kinds of opportunities for people to call if they have a glitch or a problem, to get that corrected as quickly as possible.”
State officials say the average wait time for people who’ve been calling the hotline for help was about two minutes on Friday. Administrators also say call volume was just about the same as it has in the weeks leading up to the switch. Branstad invited representatives of each of the three private companies now managing Iowa’s Medicaid system to his weekly news conference — to tout new “add-on” services each now offers to Medicaid patients, like smoking cessation and well-baby programs.
AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly news conference