Director Palmer
Charles M. Palmer

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     ACO Agreements Signed: Iowa Medicaid Enterprise has signed agreements with two large ACOs to encourage healthy behaviors and improve health outcomes for thousands of Iowans covered by the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. Two major entities, University of Iowa Health Alliance LLC and UnityPoint Health Partners, signed up to be ACOs for the Iowa Wellness Plan, effective April 1, 2014. For more information, click here .

     NATIONAL PACE AWARD: Iowa Medicaid Program Manager Lin Christensen will be recognized in April with a Public Service Award from the National PACE Association. The award recognizes a public or elected official who has been an effective advocate for the continued growth of the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The program serves persons with chronic health care needs who are 55 years of age or older and live in a designated PACE county. The mission of the program is to maintain the health of its members so they can continue to live in their own homes and remain connected with their communities. Christensen was nominated for the honor by Iowas Immanuel Pathways PACE and Siouxland PACE.

    NEW ENROLLMENT PERIODS ANNOUNCED: The federal Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014, but special enrollment periods have been announced. Federal officials have assured that consumers who are in line by the March 31 deadline to complete enrollment will get covered. And, under limited circumstances, people with complex cases may qualify for a special enrollment period. There is no open enrollment period for Iowas Medicaid programs, which means individuals may sign up all year long. This includes the new Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. For more information, click here.

    ASSISTANCE AND HEALTHY EATING: Spring has arrived, and that means the Iowa Department of Human Services is preparing for another busy season of helping Food Assistance recipients get access to fresh fruits and vegetables. DHSs Wireless EBT project, in its 10th year, allows low-income Iowans to use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farms, farmers markets and roadside stands. For more information, click here.

    INFORMATION BREACH: The department has announced there was a breach in personal information related to some Polk County social work assessments. The breach happened when confidential client data was transmitted outside of the DHS secure network during the assessment period of some abuse cases. There are no reports that the information was misused. About 2,000 letters have been mailed to individuals whose information was part of the breach. If you received a letter and you have questions, please click here.To see our press release, click here.

    EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT: This is a tax credit to help low to moderate income working individuals and families keep more of what you earned. Click here for more informtion on EITC.

    FIP BENEFITS CHANGES: Beginning February 1, 2014, households found accessing FIP benefits at liquor stores, gambling establishments or adult entertainment venues will lose eligibility for a period and have to repay the amount accessed. For more details, click here.

    IOWA JUVENILE: The Iowa Department of Human Services has found alternative placements for 21 youth currently served by the Iowa Juvenile Home and Girls State Training School in Toledo.Additional information can be found at http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/Consumers/Facilities/Toledo.html.

    SAFE HAVEN: DHS officials are urging Iowans to spread the word about the state's Safe Haven law that provides protection and anonymity for people who want to relinquish parental rights and take newborns to a safe place.

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