The state will start charging small monthly premiums to some participants in 2015. The premiums will be waived if people meet certain health goals, or in cases of hardship, and the out-of-pocket costs can’t exceed 5 percent of their annual income. As part of the agreement with federal authorities the state can’t deny coverage to the poorest participants if they don’t pay the premiums, though they could try to collect any debts.
More than 50,000 Iowa residents are already signed up for the Iowa Health and Wellness plan, all of whom are currently on a different low-income health program set to expire at the end of the year. Thousands more have applied for state coverage and may be eligible.