Low-income Missouri residents finally gain Medicaid coverage

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Roughly 275,000 low-income adults in the state are now eligible for coverage. MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program, has already received more than 17,000 applications since the sign up process began in August.

Missouri was required to expand Medicaid after it was approved by voters in August 2020 by 53% to 47% of the vote – becoming the sixth state to accept the Affordable Care Act provision in the ballot box.
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It was supposed to take effect July 1, but was halted by Parsons, who said in May that the state could not proceed because lawmakers had not appropriated the funds.

A legal battle ensued, with the plaintiffs arguing that the state’s Medicaid program is funded by the General Assembly and that lawmakers are not required to set aside specific funding for expanding enrollment.
A lower court found that a 2020 ballot approving the expansion had violated state law, but that decision was overturned in July by the state’s Supreme Court, which declared in a unanimous decision that the ballot initiative was constitutional.

additional federal funding

Missouri is also eligible to receive an estimated $968 million in additional federal Medicaid funding over the next two years, as part of a US rescue plan measure aimed at encouraging holdout states to expand their programs.
Oklahoma is also eligible for a federal infusion after Medicaid expansion coverage begins on July 1. Voters narrowly approved the ballot initiative in 2020.

However, the remaining 12 states that have yet to expand Medicaid have not announced any plans to take Congress on their proposal. All have Republican governors or GOP-controlled legislatures.

More than 2 million uninsured adults fall into the “coverage gap,” which means they have too much income in their states to qualify for Medicaid, but they need to be eligible for subsidies with Affordable Care Act premiums. Too little for The subsidy is open only to those who earn more than 100% of the poverty level in non-expansion states.

Democrats in Congress are looking to create a federal Medicaid expansion program to cover low-income residents in holdout states as part of their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. However, the provision cannot escape the cut, with lawmakers hoping to garner enough votes to pass.
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Credit : www.cnn.com

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