Iowa Medicaid privatization plan halted for 2 months - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Medicaid privatization plan halted for 2 months

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(AP) -

Federal officials called for a two-month delay in Iowa's switch to a private Medicaid program but signaled the state likely will get approval to make the change.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday ordered a halt until March 1 of plans to hand over management of the $4.2 billion health care program for 560,000 poor and disabled residents to for-profit insurance companies.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad had planned to make the switch beginning Jan. 1.

Branstad surprised the medical community and lawmakers last January with the plan he says will save $47 million in the first six months.

Federal regulators told state officials Iowa needs more time but that approval is anticipated once the state is ready for a seamless transition that will not disrupt care.

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