Report Shows Lower Than Expected Savings Through Private Medicaid

DES MOINES, Iowa  — Taxpayers may not be getting the savings that former Governor Terry Branstad said they would after the state privatized Medicaid delivery to nearly 600,000 Iowans.

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa will save $47.7 million in the 2018 fiscal year. This is well short of the estimated $232 million in savings for 2018 when Branstad transitioned the state to privatized Medicaid in 2015. The quarterly report was put together by staffers within the Department of Human Services.

Governor Kim Reynolds, who had been Branstad’s lieutenant governor, has continued the privatized system since replacing him. Her staff blames the lower figures on a miscalculation.

Spokesperson Brenna Smith emailed, “(Medicaid) Director (Mike) Randol has identified several areas that were not taken into account when calculating the savings figure and is working with his department to update the methodology to one that takes those savings factors into account.”

 The governor has conceded that the transition to private care has not always gone smoothly but insists it is going in the right direction for the long-term.

Some Medicaid recipients have complained about changes that have meant some services have been reduced or eliminated and providers have charged that reimbursements have been delayed or denied.