By Jeffrey Jones

Three years ago, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in response to COVID-19 that provided critical support and health care for Iowa residents and their families. During the PHE, nearly all existing and new Medicaid enrollees were able to enroll and stay covered regardless of changes in eligibility or status. Now, that is about to change.

Recent legislation passed by Congress separated Medicaid renewals from the PHE. So, what does this mean? Every state, including Iowa, will resume determinations on an individual's Medicaid eligibility beginning April 1, 2023. The Iowa Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) estimates that thousands of current Medicaid enrollees will no longer be eligible as a result of Medicaid renewal, also known as Medicaid redetermination.

As Medicaid renewal resumes, now is the time to prepare. Here is a check list for all Medicaid beneficiaries to get ready for this process:

1) Make sure Iowa HHS has your current contact information.

2) Watch for and respond to mail from Iowa HHS.

3) Visit to see if you are likely to qualify for Medicaid.

4) If you don't qualify, you can find affordable health plans through your employer or the Health Care Marketplace.

Additional Iowa HHS tools and resources:

* Member Services can help Medicaid members with their questions about their healthcare during the renewal. They can also assist with helping apply for Medicaid services.

* Hawki Member Services can help the guardians of Hawki members with their questions about their child's healthcare during the renewal. They can also assist with helping apply for Hawki services.

* Provider Services can help Medicaid medical providers of all types with their questions about the renewal and how it impacts their members and themselves. Provider Services can also help with a provider applying for Medicaid licensure.

* Visit to find local help in applying for healthcare coverage in Iowa.

Need additional help with your Medicaid or Hawki renewal? Contact Iowa HHS Member services at 800-338-8366 toll free or 515-256-4606 in Des Moines and email at Agents can help you walk through your renewal and direct you to the correct resources.

For those who will lose Medicaid coverage, there is still good news. New subsidies make health plans on the Marketplace more affordable than ever. In addition, many helpful resources are available to guide people to the coverage and support they need.

The pandemic brought years of uncertainty that has caused us to appreciate the importance of good health. Now our focus is on raising awareness about the available options so that people have healthcare coverage as we approach the end of the PHE.

Jeffrey Jones is President for Amerigroup Iowa which helps improve healthcare access and quality for Iowa residents who participate in the state's Medicaid programs.

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