State officials have finally submitted their formal request to the federal government, asking for approval of Iowa’s version of Medicaid expansion. Michael Bousselot , an aide to Governor Branstad, has been Branstad’s point person on the project.
The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan that cleared the 2013 Iowa legislature created a two-tiered system for enrolling more uninsured Iowans in Medicaid. According to the plan, Iowans who are at or below the poverty level would get full coverage with a small monthly premium that will not be charged if the person takes steps toward a healthier lifestyle, like losing weight or quitting smoking. Those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty line would get subsidies to buy health care coverage on the new “Insurance Exchange” that is to open October 1st. Bousselot and other Branstad administration officials had originally indicated the State of Iowa would submit its waiver request to the federal government by late June, but the paperwork was submitted last Friday.
Bousselot expects the Health and Human Services Department to approve the waivers “shortly.”