What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a state/federal program that provides health insurance for certain groups of low income people. In general, Medicaid covers:
- Low income parents and their children,
- Older people who need long-term care, and
- People with disabilities.
Part of the funding for Medicaid comes from the Federal government. They also set rules for the program. They say what a state must offer.
Like other states, however, Iowa also:
- Provides our own share of funding for Medicaid, and
- May decide to cover more groups of people or offer more benefits than the Federal government says we have to.
Iowa's goal is to provide Medicaid members with the same level of services they would receive through a private insurance plan.
Our Medicaid program is run by the Department of Human Services (DHS) through the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise.
Statewide, there are local DHS offices in all 99 counties. Click on the link to find out where they are. You will also find their phone numbers on this link.
The local DHS offices are the first place you will want to call. An Income Maintenance Worker (IMW) at your local office can help you apply for Medicaid. They will look over your application and discuss it with you. They'll use state and federal rules to decide if you and/or your family are eligible.
If you are eligible, you will become an Iowa Medicaid Member. You would keep on working with the IMW. S/he knows the details of your case and the benefits for which you qualify. The IMW can also tell you about other programs to help with more needs that you or your family might have. The IMW will tell you what you need to do to continue to get Medicaid. S/he would also make sure you've done the tasks for which you are responsible. For instance, if your income changes or people move into or out of your house, you need to report this to the IMW.
Sometimes, you may receive a bill from your healthcare provider but don't know why. In this case, you can call 515-256-4606 if you're in the Des Moines area. Call 1-800-338-8366 if calling long distance.
Please click on Who Receives Iowa Medicaid to learn more about:
- The groups of people who receive Medicaid benefits in Iowa.
- How they are served.