UnitedHealthcare Leaving Iowa’s Medicaid Managed Care Program

In the afternoon of Friday, March 29, Governor Reynold’s office announced that UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will be departing from Iowa’s Medicaid managed care program. The departure of UHC means that Amerigroup and the newly contracted MCO, Iowa Total Care/Centene, will take over as the two remaining MCOs in Iowa later this year. 

Governor Reynolds stated, “Today I ended negotiations between the State of Iowa and UnitedHealthcare because of terms that I believed to be unreasonable and unsustainable… Unfortunately, UnitedHealthcare continued to make additional demands that I found to be unacceptable, including a provision that would remove pay for performance measures that would hold them accountable.” 

Director of DHS Jerry Foxhoven stated the primary issue for the breakdown of the negotiations was that UHC wanted to be released from contract terms that would have denied them part of their state payments if they didn’t meet quality goals, such as paying bills to providers on time and inappropriate use of emergency room services. 

The Governor’s office and DHS has indicated that UHC will continue to provide services through their contract period which ends in June. On July 1, Centene will take over. It is not clear how Amerigroup and Centene will split the 425,000 Medicaid recipients that UHC currently serves. LAI will keep members informed with new information as it is provided.  

For additional information:  
Governor Reynold’s Statement
DHS Statement
Des Moines Register Article