Governor signs Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Governor signs Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law

Posted: Updated:
Governor Terry Branstad signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law on Thursday, which would overhaul the state's healthcare system and cover thousands of uninsured Iowans. Governor Terry Branstad signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law on Thursday, which would overhaul the state's healthcare system and cover thousands of uninsured Iowans.
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Governor Terry Branstad signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law on Thursday.

If approved by the federal government, it would overhaul the state's healthcare system and cover thousands of uninsured Iowans.

Branstad said the law will build Iowa into a healthier state.

People's Community Health Clinic in Waterloo is one of several clinics behind the new law because it allows affordable healthcare for a group of uninsured Iowans who aren't currently eligible for Medicaid.

"It's very good to know that more people are going to have access to health coverage, and it will also be local coverage," said CEO of People's Community Health Clinic Jennifer Lightbody.

"It's one of the milestones in universal health coverage, and we're real excited to see that happening," she added.

Under the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, health insurance will still be available for people living below the poverty level, or those individuals earning less than about $11,500 a year.

But it will also be available for people earning up to 138 percent above the poverty level, or individuals making less than about $16,000 a year. That particular group of uninsured Iowans will now have access to affordable healthcare.

But there are strings attached to the Medicaid expansion.

"It's not just a traditional expansion," said University of Northern Iowa associate professor of political science Chris Larimer. "It's an expansion with certain accountability measures.

"If you want to avoid an increase in your premiums, you need to participate in a healthy activity plan, you need to have screening checks, do sorts of things you know that are preventative measures," he added.

Lightbody said it's a good move for the state.

"Prevention is well worth the investment in that it saves money in the long run, it saves quality of life, it saves hospital bills," she said. "Overall, if someone can be encouraged to follow more healthy behaviors, then we as a nation are really going to be much better off."

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay for Medicaid expansion coverage for the first three years.

The law still must be approved by the federal government. If approved, it would be implemented in 2014.

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • Award-winning city rummage sale returns for 8th year

    Award-winning city rummage sale returns for 8th year

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:43 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:43:33 GMT
    Iowa City's award-winning annual waste reduction and reuse event is back again, for the eighth year.More >>
    Iowa City's award-winning annual waste reduction and reuse event is back again, for the eighth year.More >>
  • Person carjacked at Saint Luke's Hospital

    Person carjacked at Saint Luke's Hospital

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:24:55 GMT
    Linn County Sheriff's Deputies were involved in a high speed chase on Interstate 380 on Tuesday, July 29.More >>
    Linn County Sheriff's Deputies were involved in a high speed chase on Interstate 380 on Tuesday, July 29.More >>
  • GM's most popular pickup is this year's most recalled vehicle

    GM's most popular pickup is this year's most recalled vehicle

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:23 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:23:26 GMT
    For owners of GM's most popular pickups, recalls have been almost a monthly occurrence this year.The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra have been recalled six times so far in 2014, making them the year's most frequently recalled vehicles. And it doesn't stop there - the two trucks have been recalled nine times since they hit showrooms 12 months ago.The Silverado and the Sierra are nearly identical - the trucks share the same frame and many of the same parts and design features.So far...More >>
    For owners of GM's most popular pickups, recalls have been almost a monthly occurrence this year.The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra have been recalled six times so far in 2014, making them the year's most frequently recalled vehicles. And it doesn't stop there - the two trucks have been recalled nine times since they hit showrooms 12 months ago.The Silverado and the Sierra are nearly identical - the trucks share the same frame and many of the same parts and design features.So far...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.