Iowa’s skilled nursing facilities are expected to receive an additional $59.8 million due to an infusion of funds from the state.
Lawmakers approved an 8.6% raise for two insurance companies overseeing the state’s $5 billion Medicaid program this week.
There will be a total of a $386 million total increase in capitation rates, with the state share being $115 million, according to Iowa’s Department of Human Services.
Lawmakers, skilled nursing providers and senior advocates have all complained for years over Iowa’s move to managed care for Medicaid beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare said it lost millions of dollars on the program and ended its participation June 30.
The insurer was replaced by Iowa Total Care, which is now covering an expected 230,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in the state.
Sen. Jane Peterson (D-Des Moines) criticized the insurers receiving another raise, noting that privatization hasn’t helped the state save money or provide better care.
“The big cheerleaders for privatized Medicaid — Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators — cannot back up their claims that privatizing would save money and make people healthier. That’s because it hasn’t happened,” Petersen, the Senate Democratic Leader, said, according to the Associated Press.