Iowans Urged to Reapply for Health Care Coverage

By Rod Boshart, Reporter

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans who applied for health insurance coverage at the federal HealthCare.gov Web site are being advised to reapply through the state of Iowa instead.

Iowa Department of Human Services officials say they learned Friday that HealthCare.gov will delay sending additional application information. DHS officials are advising Iowans who applied through the federal portal that they should reapply through the state Web site or call center.

Currently, the files sent by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) do not include enough information for the state to process applications, according to a DHS news release.

Federal officials had indicated they would send more complete information by Monday, Dec. 30, but notified DHS officials Friday afternoon that there will be additional delay.

"We are working hard to ensure that Iowans who applied through HealthCare.gov will be enrolled in health coverage. We are encouraging Iowans who applied at the federal portal to reapply through our state website and call center," DHS Director Charles Palmer said in a statement.

"We will make every effort to process applications in a timely manner so that these Iowans can have certainty about their health care coverage," Palmer added.

DHS officials are sending emails and letters to the nearly 16,000 Iowans whose applications are held at the federal hub, informing them that the Iowa DHS will continue to work with CMS but that they should reapply through the state website at dhsservices.iowa.gov or by calling 1-855-889-7985.

Due to the delay with the federal Web site, DHS officials said they cannot guarantee coverage if an individual needs to see a health care provider during this interim period. However, Medicaid eligibility begins the first day of the month in which an individual applies.

Applications received between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, 2014, will be reviewed for January 2014 eligibility, according to the DHS news release. Applications will be processed based on the date received, so DHS officials are encouraging Iowans who applied through HealthCare.gov to reapply through the state as soon as possible.
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