Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds have reached agreement with United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials for approval of the bi-partisan Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.
The HHS December 10th approval establishes the terms and conditions allowing Iowa to move forward, with the addition, by agreement, of premium contributions promoting healthy behaviors, without loss of coverage, for certain Iowa Health and Wellness Plan members in accordance with Iowa law.
Branstad was enthusiastic, saying, "This is an Iowa plan that fits the health needs of our state. The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan will improve health outcomes for Iowans. I am pleased we reached agreement with the Federal Government on our unique alternative approach and we are ready to move forward to serve Iowans."
Eventually, more than 150,000 Iowans will be served by this innovative plan that includes incentives for members who complete Healthy Behaviors, such as a physical or health risk assessment. The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan will focus on quality in health care with health care professionals receiving incentive payments for addressing the quality of outcomes and overall health of the plan population. With the inclusion of premium assistance for members above the Federal Poverty Level, more Iowans will receive private insurance as an option.
Reynolds touted Iowa's readiness, "More than 55,000 Iowans have already signed up for the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. This waiver agreement allows Iowa to move forward in improving the health and wellness of our state while respecting the law that passed with bi-partisan support."