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A federal 'pandemic health emergency' is ending — and 300,000 Missourians could lose Medicaid health insurance. Here's what to know.

Susan Szuch, Springfield News-Leader health and public policy reporter, with her notebook, laptop and water bottle at KSMU Studios.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Springfield News-Leader health and public policy reporter Susan Szuch joins Ozarks Public Radio for an interview at KSMU Studios on March 29, 2023.

Missouri Medicaid is going through a big change starting Friday, March 31. A pandemic-era federal requirement that kept people enrolled is ending.

KSMU’s Gregory Holman is joined by Springfield News-Leader health and public policy reporter Susan Szuch to talk about what that could mean for your family.

Medicaid is a government health insurance resource for people living with disabilities and people living in poverty.

Nationwide, Medicaid now has 91 million people enrolled, up more than 20 million since the Trump-era Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Missouri, over the course of the pandemic Medicaid grew from 804,000 enrollees to more than 1.4 million enrollees.

A federal "pandemic health emergency" declaration that guaranteed "continuous Medicaid enrollment" is ending this spring. That means beginning March 31, states throughout the union may begin checking enrollees as to whether they're still eligible to receive health insurance through Medicaid.

In Missouri, this could end Medicaid enrollment for 200,000 to 300,000 enrollees. Nationwide, some 5 to 14 million people could be affected, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Families and individuals may ensure that they're in touch with state authorities during the enrollment-checking process by updating their contact information with the Family Support Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services.

They may call 855-373-4636 to reach the Family Support Division Information Center or visit

Szuch says folks who are determined to be ineligible for Medicaid health insurance through Missouri government should check with their employers about health insurance coverage.

They may also consider shopping for an "Obamacare" health plan by visiting Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, consumers can be provided with federal taxpayer subsidies that lower health insurance costs for households earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

The poverty level is currently set at $30,000 per year for a family of four.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.