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Getting Medical Assistance

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid LSC Funded
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Where can I get help paying for health care in Iowa?

Many people need help paying for health care. Iowa has several programs that may help you. Medicaid is one of those programs.
 

What is Medicaid or Title 19?

Medicaid, also called "Title 19," pays for medical care for some people who don't earn much money, or have very many resources (property or savings, including cds, stocks, and bonds.

Who gets Medicaid?

Children under 21 can get Medicaid. You may also get Medicaid if:

  • You are a parent with a child under 19 living with you;
  • You are over 65;
  • You are pregnant;
  • You need treatment for breast or cervical cancer;
  • You are blind or have a disability;
  • You live in a nursing home; or
  • You need family planning services.
To get Medicaid:
  • You must live in Iowa.
  • You can't earn too much money or have too many resources.
  • You must be a US citizen or legally qualified immigrant (except for emergency care for up to 3 days).
  • You must have a social security number or show you applied for one (except for emergency care for up to 3 days).

You can apply for Medicaid at any Department of Human Services office. Call 1-800-972-2017 to find the office near you. You may also apply online at the DHS website.

What if I earn too much for my child to get Medicaid?

hawk-i pays for health services for some children under 19 who can't get other health insurance.

Who gets hawk-i?

Your child may get hawk-i if:

  • Your child lives in Iowa.
  • Your family doesn't earn more than the limit set by hawk-i.
  • Your child is a US citizen or a qualified immigrant.
Call 1-800-257-8563 (TTY: 1-888-422-2319) and ask them to mail you an application. You may also apply online at the DHS website.

What if I earn too much for me to get Medicaid?

IowaCare Program

This is a Medicaid program that provides health insurance for people between the ages of 18 and 65. You must have income that is low enough for the program, but the limits are higher than for regular Medicaid. You may be required to pay a monthly premium. You also do not need to have a child or be disabled.

  • Most of the care is provided at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. If you live in Polk County, you can receive care at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines.
  • If you are pregnant, you may be able to receive prenatal and birth care at any local Medicaid-participating provider or hospital. Newborns are eligible for IowaCare while hospitalized and for a period not to exceed 60 days from the date of birth.
  • You can receive a routine preventive medical examination from any Medicaid-participating provider.
  • Some prescriptions are covered. Generally, you need to get your prescription at the hospital where you receive your care. However, you can get smoking cessation prescriptions at any local Medicaid-participating pharmacy.

Is there other help for Seniors and people with disabilities?
  • Medicare pays for health care for seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Medicare pays for hospital care, nursing home care, doctor's care and more.
  • You have to pay a fee for some of the services.

Who gets Medicare?

You may get Medicare if:

  • You are 65 years old or older.
  • You are under 65 years old with certain disabilities and have been disabled for 24 months.
  • You are any age with end-stage kidney disease.
  • You can apply for Medicare at your local Social Security office. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). For details about Medicare, go to the Iowa Legal Aid Website.
Can Medicaid Help me Pay for Medicare Premiums?
  • Yes. If you are entitled to receive Medicare Part A, and your income and resources are low enough, then you may qualify for a form of Medicaid to help you pay your Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles.
  • You can apply for Medicaid at any Department of Human Services office. Call 1-800-972-2017 to find the office near you. You may also apply online at the DHS website.
What if I can't get on any of these programs?

Another place where you can get free or low cost care is from your county. Every county in Iowa has a General Relief office and programs to assist eligible veterans. Many counties also have a public hospital that must give free care to some people who live there. Ask the hospital's business office if the hospital is a county public hospital and ask for an application for free care.


There may also be a free or low-cost medical clinic serving your area. Check the Iowa Department of Public Health's website at: http://www.idph.state.ia.us/webmap/default.asp?map=vhcpp
to see if there is a free clinic in your county.

Last Review and Update: Feb 23, 2011
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