About 54 thousand Iowans who have Medicaid have another problem looming over their heads.
Earlier this year, AmeriHealth Caritas decided it would no longer be one of the companies managing care in the Medicaid system. That left two companies...Amerigroup and United Healthcare.
Now one of the larger health care providers in the state, UnityPoint Health, says they're reaching a contract impasse with Amerigroup. Negotiations are continuing, but UnityPoint notified its 54,000 customers that if a contract isn't worked out by December 31st of this year, they will pull out of the Amerigroup network as of April 1, 2018.
That move would mean current Medicaid users that rely upon UnityPoint for doctors, therapy and hospital care would need to either:
- Change their Medicaid MPO to UnitedHealthcare, which UnityPoint is still a member,
- Pay for the UnityPoint services out-of-pocket as an out-of-network provider or
- Find a new healthcare provider.
Many Medicaid recipients are already confused about the current system, with United Healthcare and Amerigroup taking over for service next year for those patients who had AmeriHealth Caritas as their MPO. It has also led to calls from Democratic legislators for the state to return to having the state manage the system itself.
Meanwhile, UnityPoint Health says they'll continue to provide health care to Amerigroup patients. They're also planning to provide regular updates to Iowans at their website, UnityPoint.org