Alerts
New Legislative Leaders Announced (UPDATED)
11.17.18
The Senate Republicans and Democrats, and House Republicans and Democrats held their initial post-election caucuses and elected their leaders for the... Read More...
Election Results!
11.08.18
What an election night!  Iowans voted in record numbers - 60% of all registered voters turned out.  That's 1.3 million voters (a usual mid-term... Read More...
Election One Week Away!
10.30.18
Election Day is next week on Tuesday, November 6. It’s critical for people with disabilities to get out and vote to ensure that our elected... Read More...
Early Voting Starts Today!
10.08.18
You don't have to wait until Election Day to vote!  If you are ready to vote, you can do it starting today.  You have a few options: Go to your... Read More...
MEET THE CANDIDATES
10.08.18
The 2018 election is less than one month away.   If you don't know if you are registered to vote - you check online here.  Watch our informative... Read More...


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Policies & Issues

VOTER ID

Iowa became the 33rd state to require some form of identification when voting after passage of  HF 516 (Voter ID), 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, and one MCO (AmeriHealth Caritas) has already ended their contract with the state, effective December 1, 2017.  The state has announced it will be bringing on at least one new MCO (Centene, aka "Total Care Iowa") for a startup date on July 1, 2019.  

In addition, United Health announced it would be eventually ending the Integrated Health Home program for individuals who are not on habilitation or the children's mental health waiver (although legislative push-back ended in United calling a cease fire and agreeing to a hold until DHS could have more discussions with providers and review the health home system). The Legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee was created to make sure issues related to managed care are addressed quickly, but they have not met very often.

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.
  • You can read more frequently asked questions here.

Resources on Managed Care

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REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH/DISABILITY SERVICES

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. Previous legislation that gave local boards of supervisors the authority to set property taxes at the level they will need to be failed.  Legislation to raise the state's sales tax by a penny, and dedicate a significant amount of money to buy out the locally-funded system and make it entirely state funded (but regionally managed) was discussed, but never introduced.  In the 2018 session, legislators expanded the list of core services to be provided by regions to include ACT teams, Access Centers, and Intensive Rehabilitation Service Homes.  Legislators also moved a long list of optional crisis services into the required "core" service category, but no new funds were identified to pay for the initial development of these programs, or the ongoing sustainability of the funding.  Polk County Region, which has had an $8 million gap in funding for many years, was given the ability to shift money from other funding sources in fiscal year 2019 to cover shortfalls until a permanent solution can be found. The Legislative Council has been asked to approve an interim study to address long-term funding options (that decision will be made June 25, 2018).

  • 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 the fiscal year 2019 budgets passed by the Legislature 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 (marked "final) of these NOBAs!