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In Iowa, the change will affect up to 40,000 residents annually and save the program more than $36 million a year. (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you’re poor, uninsured and fall seriously ill, in most states if you qualify for Medicaid — but weren’t enrolled at the time — the program will pay your medical bills going back three months. It protects hospitals, too, from having to absorb the costs of caring for these patients.

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