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Many of you have been waiting to hear how our state plans to move its Medicaid system to managed care, and the companies that will be chosen to help us do it.  Last week, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) made the announcement.  The State of Iowa has selected four companies to manage Medicaid supports and services beginning January 1, 2016.  The companies selected are:

  • Amerigroup Iowa, Inc.
  • AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa, Inc.
  • UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley, Inc.
  • WellCare of Iowa, Inc.

These four companies were selected from a field of eleven applicants, including the state's existing behavioral health managed care contractor (Magellan).  Magellan, along with the only company offering insurance on the Health Insurance Exchange (Coventry) were not chosen.  The state decided to modernize its Medicaid system at the beginning of this year, with the goals of:

  • Improving quality and access through better coordinated care.
  • Focusing on accountability and outcomes.
  • Making the Medicaid budget more predictable and sustainable.
“This patient-centered approach will mean that Medicaid members get the right care, at the right time, and in the right setting,” said DHS Director Chuck Palmer. “That will lead to a healthier Medicaid population, and that’s good news for members and Iowa taxpayers who make this program possible. These companies have demonstrated that they can manage Iowans’ care so they’ll be connected with the services they need to help them lead healthier lives,”

DHS is now calling this new (managed care) approach IA Health Link. DHS plans to launch a targeted communications campaign with Medicaid members, stakeholder organizations, providers, and other interested audiences about this new approach.  So when you see this logo, you know its the new Medicaid system.

“We’ll keep Iowans informed about their choices and how this patient-centered approach can help improve the overall health of the member,” said Palmer. “Through the IA Health Link program, we’ll improve the coordination of care for Iowans who receive health care assistance and provide greater predictability in Medicaid spending for all Iowa taxpayers.”
  • Information about the IA Health Link/Medicaid Modernization initiative, including fact sheets, presentations and FAQs can be found here.
  • You can find a fact shee on the transition to this new system here.
  • You can see how the companies submitting bids scored, see review team comments, and a list of each company's strengths/weaknesses here.

DHS has told us that they will be posting information frequently on their Modernization website ( and has asked that those interested or affected by this change keep their eyes on this website for announcements.  Make sure you bookmark our website for breaking news and follow us on Facebook to stay updated.