TPM Livewire

Iowa's Medicaid Expansion Plan Gets Federal Approval

Iowa-conservatives--2
AP Photo / Justin Hayworth

Branstad had asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to allow the state to use Medicaid expansion money to pay for people to purchase private health coverage on HealthCare.gov -- similiar to what Arkansas had already received approval for. That would cover people between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level. People below the poverty level would be covered by a modified version of the state's traditional Medicaid program.

But Iowa also wanted to require those covered by the expansion to contribute money toward their coverage. CMS said Tuesday that Iowa could implement that requirement for people above the poverty line, but not for people below it.

State officials have 30 days to accept or appeal the administration's ruling, according to CMS. Medicaid expansion is expected to cover up to 150,000 Iowans.