Iowa is changing a core Medicaid requirement

A Medicaid patient waits to be treated. Photo: Gerry Broome / AP

The Trump administration has approved a waiver from Iowa, effective Nov. 1, that says the state will not have to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income people for the three months prior to when they applied.

Between the lines: Conservatives say the waiver from Medicaid's three-month retroactive eligibility will encourage people to sign up for Medicaid quickly and prevent people from only applying once they are sick. But consumer advocates are worried the move, which will deny retroactive benefits to 40,000 Iowans to save $37 million, will lead to high medical bills for seniors and people with disabilities.