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IA Health Link, New Name for Medicaid Modernization Initiative

posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

As we've previously communicated, most Iowa Medicaid programs will be joined together in a single managed care program called IA Health Link as of January 1, 2016. The new IA Health Link program will give current Iowa Medicaid members access to high quality care coverage through a managed care organization, or MCO. A MCO is a health insurance company that is designed to make sure you receive complete health care that's right for you.

While Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI) does not have influence over these IA Health Link/Medicaid Modernization initiative decisions, we do want to be a resource for you. We will continue to share what we can as we continue learning alongside of you.

Is IA Health Link the same as the Medicaid Modernization Initiative?

Yes, the program is now called IA Health Link. Other names you may hear include: Medicaid Modernization, Iowa Managed Care Program.

When does this take effect?

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is transitioning most Medicaid members to a new managed care program, now called IA Health Link, as of January 1, 2016.

DHS has stated all members will have six months to two years to remain with or change their current provider(s), depending on the Iowa Medicaid program in which they are currently enrolled. Members may keep their current medical health providers, mental health providers, and case manager until at least June 30, 2016, as long as their provider(s) choose to participate with the MCOs.

Why the new program?

The main goals of IA Health Link are:

  • Improving coordination and quality of care that Medicaid members receive
  • Become a healthier state
  • Help Iowa work towards a balanced, predictable state budget

How do I learn more?

The Iowa Department of Human Services website as up-to-date information –

Scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find a "Stakeholder Toolkit". The toolkit will be continuously updated.

You can also contact the Iowa Medicaid Member Services Unit at 1-800-338-8366. Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

DHS has held stakeholder meetings and plans more to come, including enrollment help. Watch the website for more information.

What managed care organizations were selected?

  • Amerigroup Iowa, Inc.
  • Amerihealth Caritas Iowa, Inc.
  • UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley, Inc.

Overview of Enrollment Process





Introductory Mailings by Population MCO Enrollment Begins Enrollment Assistance Continues December 17, 2015: Last Day to Make MCO Choice for January 2016

January 1: Begin Coverage with MCO

March 19: Member must have "Good Cause" to make change

December 18, 2015 - March 18, 2016: Member can change MCO
without "Good Cause"

You’re likely to have questions as time goes on, while EPI will share what and when we can, your best source of information will continue to be the Department of Human Services and the selected Managed Care Organizations.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reach out to our Services Director, Susan Seehase (, or myself ( at (319) 232-6671. Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.