Health Policy

Iowa Wellness Plan Granted Five Years for Project Evaluation

Elderly woman sitting on a hospital bed with a healthcare professional.

An interdisciplinary team of investigators from the University of Iowa Public Policy Center’s (PPC) Health Policy Research Program has received a five-year extension of their project evaluating the Iowa Wellness Plan, Iowa’s version of the Medicaid expansion. The new evaluation plan took 18 months to develop and supports a waiver application received by the Iowa Department of Human Services from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that allows the state Medicaid Program to provide an innovative approach to providing medical and dental care to many adults in the Iowa Medicaid Program. The PPC will be evaluating seven different aspects of the Iowa Wellness Plan including the Healthy Behaviors Incentive Program, the Dental Wellness Plan and the Waiver of Retroactive Eligibility. The rigorous, mixed-method evaluation plan will test over 50 hypotheses over the five year study period. The evaluation team includes faculty and staff investigators from the PPC, the College of Public Health, the College of Dentistry, the Department of Economics in the College of Business, the School of Planning and Public Affairs and the University of North Carolina College of Medicine. The research project runs through June 30, 2026.