Some Iowa Medicaid patients to get state-run coverage

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's Medicaid program will provide some patients with coverage under an old state-run system rather than the current privatized setup involving insurance companies.

The Des Moines Register reported Monday the Iowa Department of Human Services will resume direct oversight of benefits for roughly 10,000 Medicaid members who tried to switch coverage to the private insurance company Amerigroup. Amerigroup said recently it wasn't adding new patients.

It's unclear how long affected patients will receive coverage through the so-called fee-for-service model. The state used the reimbursement payment system before it privatized in 2016.

Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare are the remaining insurance companies in Iowa running the health care program for poor and disabled people. Another company, AmeriHealth Caritas, will stop coverage in the state at the end of the month.

UnitedHealthcare is expected to take the bulk of AmeriHealth Caritas patients. That's now expected to total a little over 190,000 Medicaid members.

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