Iowa Emergency Management Division press release. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

November 24, 1999

Contact: Ellen Gordon Iowa Emergency Management Division Hoover State Office Building Des Moines, Iowa 50319 (515) 281-3231

Des Moines, Iowa  The following is next in a series of press releases to inform the public of Iowa state government readiness and consumer information as it relates to any possible Y2K human services issues.

The Department of Human Services encourages December Medicaid beneficiaries to save their December, 1999 Medicaid card until you receive a card for the month of January, 2000.

For more than a year, the Department has been implementing changes to its management information system so there will be no disruption due to the change from 1999 to 2000. Nevertheless, a possibility remains that all computer systems may not be fully functioning on or about January 1, 2000. If that happens, Medicaid cards may not be distributed as early as usual. Physicians, health agencies and facilities may be unable to determine who has Medicaid eligibility for the month of January, 2000.

By keeping your December Medicaid card, you will not be automatically eligible for Medicaid in January. However, if you need emergency care, you could show your December Medicaid card. The clinician providing the care would then have your Medicaid number. Then, when computers are working correctly, the provider can more easily check on the status of your Medicaid coverage.

In spite of any disruption caused by computer glitches, Medicaid will pay providers for all services provided to people, who have Medicaid eligibility in January, 2000. All Medicaid providers have received notification of the Department of Human Services Y2K plans. Emergency services should continue to be available for Medicaid recipients who have life-threatening illnesses.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has also announced that the system issuing food stamp and Family Investment Program (FIP) benefits has been thoroughly tested and is Y2K ready. All indicators are that there will be no delay in the January, 2000 FIP benefits that will be mailed in late December. However, as a safeguard, at this time the DHS plans to mail these FIP benefits on December 29, 1999, which is one day earlier than usual. DHS believes this means recipients will already have their January, 2000 FIP grants in the event mailing delays occur. Note that the plans to mail FIP checks one day early could change, as there might be unexpected problems that occur that prevents early mailing. In December, DHS will be notifying all recipients individually of what to expect.

Because food stamps are mailed over several days during the month, most of January's food stamps will be mailed as normally scheduled. However, there are plans to make the food stamps available for pick up at the local county offices if normal mail service is interrupted.

For more information on Medicaid, Food Stamps, or the Family Investment Programs, please call Scott Kiefer with the Iowa Department of Human Services at 515-281-8906.

For more preparedness information please visit the Iowa Emergency Management Division web page at:

-- y2k dave (, December 04, 1999

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