During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), Iowa Medicaid was required to keep continuous healthcare coverage for all members and expand Medicaid benefits to support the Medicaid population.

In March 2023, the end of the public emergency was announced, and Medicaid programs across the country have to return, or "unwind," to normal operations.

This means for the first time since before the pandemic, Medicaid members have to fill out renewal forms to determine if they are still eligible for Medicaid. 

Members should expect mail from Iowa HHS and respond to any requests for information in a timely manner. If members do not respond to renewal letters or requests for information, they could lose their Medicaid coverage. 

Renewal Help

Need help with your Medicaid or Hawki renewal? Contact Member services at 800-338-8366.  Agents can help you walk through your renewal and direct you to the correct resources depending on when your renewal is due.  

What This Means for Members

With the initiation of the unwind plan, Iowa Medicaid will share important information with members. It is critical that Iowa Medicaid members: 

  1. Have up-to-date contact information. 
  2. Watch for mail from Iowa Medicaid. 
  3. Respond to requests for information.

If members do not respond to renewal letters or requests for information, they may lose coverage. 

During the PHE, home and community-based services (HCBS) and telehealth coverage expanded to cover a wider range of Iowans during the during the PHE. While some states may continue some of these flexibilities, others will be returning to their normal coverage from before the PHE.

A Note for Providers

Providers are encouraged to note the end dates of the flexibilities ending as they will be expected to follow Medicaid guidelines and regulations. Members can check the timeline above for a quick summary of the flexibilities that are ending and its impact on their health coverage.

Unwind Tools

Unwind Timeline

* Note: Timeline items 2, 3 and 4 all occur during Iowa's full 12-month unwinding period but are different for each member based on their scheduled renewal month. 

Transitioning from Medicaid

As states return to their normal Medicaid operations following the end of the pandemic, Iowa Medicaid members may be transitioned to other health care coverage beginning May 1, 2023.

If you are transitioning from Medicaid, it's important to understand your health coverage options so you can enroll in a new and affordable health plan right away. 

  1. Losing Medicaid is a qualifying life event, which allows you to enroll in a health plan outside the annual open enrollment period. The amount of time you have to select a new plan depends on the type of healthcare you choose. Please take action right away. 
  2. Coverage is affordable! Government programs make health care coverage affordable for everyone. Many Iowans can obtain coverage for low monthly premiums. Visit healthcare.gov to learn about your options. 
  3. Finding health care coverage can be overwheleming, but it doesn't have to be! See the guide below to help you navigate the process.