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Health

A Review Of Medicaid In Missouri, Part 1: Eligibility Now And Under A Possible Expansion

Medicaid eligibility_0.jpg
Elana Gordon
/
KCUR

Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low income and disabled residents, is no small chunk of change in Missouri. It comprises a huge portion of the state’s budget (more on that in Part 2). It also covers a lot of people: about one in ten residents.

So, to expand or not to expand Medicaid?

That is the question state leaders have been debating ever since the U.S. Supreme Court left that decision, originally a requirement under the federal health law, up to states. Missouri, along with a handful of other states including Kansas, has yet to decide.

So who’s currently eligible for Medicaid in Missouri, and how would that change under an expansion? Adults – whether single, married, with kids or without – are the primary group affected. Below is the general breakdown (FPL stands for federal poverty level):

But how many people does this involve? Below is a general breakdown of who is currently enrolled in Missouri’s Medicaid program and how that would change under an expansion:

Missouri Enrollment.jpg
Elana Gordon
/
KCUR

Legislative Overview

Several bills and amendments relating to Medicaid eligibility and an expansion have come up in the Missouri legislature this session. Some that have been struck down mirror Governor Jay Nixon’s proposal to expand the current program to an eligibility level necessary to get full federal funding. One proposal that has gained a bit of traction but has yet to make it to the floor is Representative Jay Barnes’ bill. It would partially expand Medicaid eligibility, change the way the program works and bring in private insurers. Senator Rob Schaaf introduced legislation that would scale back eligibility for certain groups.

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This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

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