Alerts
ACT NOW TO AVOID MEDICAID CUTS!
08.04.17
The US Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly called "Obamacare"), a move that also included big cuts to Medicaid. It is unclear... Read More...
Republicans Hold Forristall Seat
06.28.17
Republican Jon Jacobsen, a senior trust officer and vice president of Security National Bank in Council Bluffs, has won the special election for House... Read More...
Political Community Rocked by Deaths
05.21.17
It has been a tough couple of days for Iowa's political community.  First, news broke that the six-year-old granddaughter of former Gov. Tom Vilsack... Read More...
Governor’s Revised Budget Released
03.29.17
The Governor has released his new budget which makes the required cuts for this year, and next year.  This is the second round of cuts that need to be... Read More...
New Plan for Regional MH/DS Funding Released
03.29.17
A new plan to fund regional mental health and disability services has surfaced in the Iowa Senate.  The bill (SSB 1187) was introduced yesterday, and... Read More...


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Policies & Issues

VOTER ID

The Governor signed HF 516 (Voter ID) into law, making Iowa the 33rd state to require some form of identification when voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Seven states now require a photo ID in order to vote - a number that has doubled in the last five years.  Iowa's proposed law does not require a photo ID, and those without one will get a free voter card from the Secretary of State or their county auditor.  Click here to read more.

HEALTH CARE REFORM

Republicans in control of Congress and the White House vowed to "repeal and replace Obamacare."  Since the election, there have been a number of proposals and discussions around "block granting" Medicaid funding to states.  This is a huge shift in public policy, and Iowans with disabilities should start getting ready to talk about what they like and dislike about the current system - so that the new system can be designed to address them.  We will start collecting information on this here - so come back frequently.

NOTE: We are not endorsing the strategies in these articles; we simply would like you to see resources your lawmakers are probably looking at when thinking about heatlh reforms.  

MEDICAID/MANAGED CARE

On April 1, 2016, Iowa moved almost all of its Medicaid program to managed care - contracting with three private companies (Amerigroup, AmeriHealth Caritas, United) to manage the health and long-term care services provided to more than 550,000 low-income Iowans, older Iowans, and Iowans with disabilities. It's been a rocky transition, but legislators have appointed a Health Policy Oversight Committee to make sure issues are addressed quickly.

Iowa HealthLink (Medicaid Managed Care)

  • Click here to go the Iowa HealthLink website.
  • Click here for the Medicaid modernization website.
  • Click here for information for those receiving Medicaid-funded services (member information).
  • Click here for information for Medicaid providers and other stakeholders.
  • Click here for MCO comparison chart for value-added services.
  • Click here for the most current DHS quarterly progress report evaluating MCOs (current: SFY17, Q1).
  • You can read more frequently asked questions here.

Resources on Managed Care

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MENTAL HEALTH/DISABILITY SERVICES REDESIGN 

ID Action and the Iowa DD Council created several tools to help Iowans affected by disability better understand the impacts of the 2012 Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign on their services and supports and access. While the system has been redesigned, there continue to be signifcant challenges, including long-term funding stability. This year legislation will be introduced to allow local boards of supervisors the authority to set property taxes at the level they will need to be - so some counties can decrease their levies, and others (about eight) can raise them. Check back for more information.

  • Click here for the most current map of the approved MH/DS Regions.
  • Click here for MH/DS Region CEOs (region lead).
  • Click here for MH/DS Regional Coordinators of Disability Services (county contacts).
  • Click here to view waiting lists for services funded by regions (for FY16).
     
  • Click here for the original Advocate's Guide to MH/DS Redesign (PDF). 
  • Click here for the Update to the Advocate's Guide to MH/DS Redesign (PDF).
  • Click here for a two-page "Quick Review" of the MH/DS Redesign (PDF).
  • Click here to review our MH/DS Community Conversations Presentation.
  • Click here to see the Regional Service Data report published every December 1.
  • Click here to go to the Department of Human Services' Mental Health & Disability Services Regional Services website.

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BUDGETS

The Iowa Legislature passes eleven budget bills each year.  You can find the non-partisan legislative fiscal staff analysis of each of these budgets here.  These "NOBAs" (Notes On Bills and Amendments) give you a summary of the budget, spreadsheets, and the actual bill with notes from staff explaining each section.  Just make sure you use the most current version of these NOBAs!