Medicaid

Syringe
Yaniv Ben-Arle / Flickr via Creative Commons

 

 

Missouri lawmakers have, for years, decided against the part of the Affordable Care Act that would expand Medicaid—the government health care program for low-income residents. So now, activists are trying to do it themselves—by collecting signatures to get the issue on the 2020 statewide ballot.  

Activists say they added nearly 400 more signatures to their total at a Springfield parade earlier this month.

 

 

About 60 percent of the approximately 70,000 Missourians purged from the state’s Medicaid program in 2018 lost coverage because they failed to reply to a mailed renewal form, according to state data.

The Missouri Department of Social Services started using an automated system to determine residents’ Medicaid eligibility last year. If the system couldn’t find their information, the state mailed enrollees renewal forms to complete and return.

Some health experts and state officials are concerned people otherwise eligible for the program are living without insurance because they never received the mail.

A Missouri lawmaker is demanding that state health officials explain how 73,000 people dropped off Medicaid rolls last year.

The state debuted an automated system in 2018 to help identify people who were no longer eligible for Medicaid, the health-insurance program for low-income and disabled people. Among the system's critics is state Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, who worries that its flaws led to the nearly 7 percent drop in Medicaid enrollment. Most of the people who lost coverage are children.

Department of Social Services officials have pointed to decreased unemployment as one reason for the drop, but Sifton thinks the numbers don’t add up.

Controversial changes to Missouri's home health-services program by former Gov. Eric Greitens and the Republican-controlled legislature saved one fourth of the $43 million lawmakers had expected, according a state audit.

The Republican governor and state lawmakers didn’t take rising costs and sicker patients into account, concluded the report from State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat. 

Missouri could fall in line with other states hoping to implement work requirements for “able-bodied” Missourians on Medicaid.

A Senate Committee held a public forum Wednesday morning on legislation that would require some residents to engage in 20 hours of work, education, job searching or other services per week.

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