Iowa officials: Half of all contracts signed for Medicaid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa officials: Half of all contracts signed for Medicaid

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa health officials say half of all potential contracts for Medicaid services have been signed ahead of the state's switch to privatized care on Jan. 1.

The Iowa Department of Human Services says the four private companies taking over the state's Medicaid program have signed a total of more than 62,000 contracts with medical providers.

Department spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy said Tuesday each company can secure nearly 30,000 contracts, which means there are just under 120,000 contracts available. She says the figures show just over half of all potential contracts have been signed.

Medicaid provides care to low-income people including children and disabled individuals. State officials, including Gov. Terry Branstad, say the privatization move will offer better care and save money. Some lawmakers have criticized the timeline for the switch.

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