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ABLE IMPLEMENTATION UPDATE FROM STATE TREASURER MICHAEL FITZGERALD

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The Iowa ABLE Act was passed by the Iowa General Assembly in 2015, and I am pleased to have been given the responsibility of administering the program for the state of Iowa.  This program has the potential to help thousands of Iowans with disabilities and their families save for critical healthcare and educational needs, while still qualifying for the federal and state benefits they deserve.  This will be an additional tool for families to care for loved ones that are in need of additional resources, as well as allowing Iowans with disabilities who are able to work, to save their hard earned money for their future healthcare and educational needs. 

My goal is to implement a plan for Iowans that is cost effective for participants and is simple and easy to use.  This is much like the model we used for the successful College Savings Iowa 529 plan. When the legislation was first passed, many people thought that a 529 Plan was a great model for these plans. While there may be some similarities, there are very distinct differences which have lead us to think outside of the box in the options available to us.

We are not alone in this dedication to bring a top-ranked plan to citizens with disabilities in our state, therefore we are working in partnership with a group of states to see if together we can lower costs and provide more options.  We believe that by joining together, we can enjoy the economies of a larger program while maintaining control over our own program. 

This process has taken longer than we originally anticipated, but it is critical to us that we explore every option before we launch a plan for Iowans.  Our goal is to have a program available for Iowans by the end of this calendar year or in early 2017. Our office is working diligently every day to make this happen.

We look forward to working with groups across the state to ensure that everyone eligible to open an IAble account knows this program is available. We know that many persons with disabilities already work with and trust the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council to provide them with valuable resources and guidance. Our goal is to work in partnership with this organization and others around the state.  Please feel free to contact our office at any time with questions about the program.  

 
Michael Fitzgerald, State Treasurer
515-281-5368; treasurer@iowa.gov