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HF2549: Mental Health Provider Loan Repayment


Establishes a mental health practitioner loan repayment program for licensed non-prescribing master's and doctorate level mental health professionals (including psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage/family therapists).  The award amounts will be $8,000 annually up to $40,000 total. Practitioners must agree to serve full time (defined at 70% of a 40-hour work week) for five years in a federal mental health shortage area.  Note that all but a few counties in Iowa are now considered shortage areas - only Polk/Dallas/Warren, Pottawattamie/Mills, Johnson/Linn, and Scott counties are not eligible. Priority is given to Iowa program graduates and agreements are entered into during the final year of study.  The bill does allows for a change to part-time practice in these shortage areas, but the term under the contract would be increased to seven years. Eligible loans for repayment include Stafford, federal direct loan program, federal grad plus loans, or Perkins loans (principal and interest; allows for reimbursement also for those that refinanced these loans for lower interest rates). Reports on use of the program are due each year on January 1. Appropriations for the program ($520,000) are in the Education Budget (HF 2575).  Takes effect July 1, 2022.

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Position: Track
Topic/Subject: Workforce

Last Modified: 08/05/2022

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