Iowa to notify families soon about kid’s health insurance

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is preparing to notify families in early February that federal money could run out for a health insurance program that covers roughly 60,000 low-income children in the state.

The Iowa Department of Human Services is also exploring options in case funding ends for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known in the state as hawk-i. DHS could recommend freezing enrollment, switching kids to Medicaid or ending hawk-i entirely.

Ending the program would force families of about 44,000 children to seek other coverage or let them go uninsured.

Department spokesman Matt Highland says DHS is still reviewing how newly approved short-term federal funding affects hawk-i’s finances. Notification to families could be delayed to March.

Highland says the department hopes Congress will approve long-term program funding next year, making contingency plans obsolete.