Medicaid Expansion and Implementation
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We Won Expansion, Now to Implement
In an historic election on August 4th 2020 Missourians voted to expand Medicaid to potentially cover hundreds of thousands of people both rural and urban. While the majority of votes for expansion came from urban centers a very large showing of rural voters also voted for expansion. It was estimated prior to Covid-19 that over 230,000 additional rural missourians would qualify for medicaid upon implementaiton in July 2021.
We worked hard for this win and now our job is to help educated and facilitate the implimentation to serve the needs of rural Missourians.
The Challenge of Medicaid Expansion and Implementation
What is medicaid?
Medicaid, or MO HealthNet, provides health insurance for low-income children and parents, seniors, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. It allows Missourians to see a doctor when they are sick, get check-ups, buy medications, and go to the hospital. Having health insurance allows Missourians to maintain their health, go to work, and take care of their families.
Will Medicaid Expansion help rural healthcare systems?
Medicaid expansion will be a lifeline to rural health care networks that are facing huge finanical set backs tyring to serve uninsurned, underinsured and indigent residence. Hospitals in states that have expanded medicaid have seen drops in indigent bills of up to 50%. This will greatly increase the hospitals viability.
Nearly 40% of Missourians live in rural communities. 10 rural hospitals have closed recently. Expanding MO HealthNet will help keep rural hospitals and clinics open, providing critical care for families throughout our state.
How does expansion change who is eligible for medicaid?
Prior to Medicaid expansion in Missouri, a non-disabled adult with children can qualify for MO HealthNet if their income is below 22% of the federal poverty line. This equates to less than $5,550 a year for family of four. Adults who are not parents are not eligible, regardless of income. Currently, Medicaid only covers a fraction of Missourians who cannot afford private health insurance on their own or do not have health insurance through their job.
Missouri expanded eligibility for MO HealthNet will be up to 138% of the federal poverty level. With expansion, an individual who earns up to $18,000 per year or a family of four that earns up to $36,000, would be eligible. Expanding MO HealthNet would provide health insurance coverage to 230,000 Missourians who are now caught in a coverage gap – they earn too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program but not enough to afford private insurance.
How will Missouri pay for Medicaid Expansion?
By law, the federal government will cover 90% of the costs to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program. Expanding Medicaid would bring hard-earned Missouri tax dollars back home and free up state funding to cover other priorities like schools and small businesses.
Federal funds would replace state funds, saving Missouri $39 million in the first year of expansion.
Is Medicaid Effective Now?
MO HealthNet provides health insurance for many hard-working Missourians, including 550,000 children, as well as seniors in nursing homes and people with disabilities. It allows people to go to the doctor, get screenings and preventive care, prescriptions, and emergency care so they can take care of themselves and their families.
Will Medicaid expansion make rural healthcare shortages worse?
By providing coverage to uninsured Missourians, Medicaid expansion will reduce uncompensated care and bring more revenue to clinics and hospitals, helping to keep them open and recruit new providers.
Who qualifies for Medicaid under expansion?
People who make up to 138% of the federal poverty line are eligible for medicaid expanded implementation. While these numbes had been estiamted at 230,000 rural residences with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that number is bound to be substantially higher.
Have the other States that expanded Medicaid done well?
No state that has expanded Medicaid has changed course. In fact, thirty-seven states, including Arkansas, Iowa, and Kentucky, have done the math and chosen to expand their Medicaid programs. Across the board, states have seen net positive outcomes from Medicaid expansion as more people gain access to needed treatment and care, hospitals stay open, and jobs and the economy grow.
Ask Anything Medicaid Expansion Video Series
Have your questions answered in our Ask Anything Video Series. Join area experts and find out how dynamic Medicaid Expansion will be for Missourians.
Helpful Resource Links
News Article Links
How you can get involved in helping with Mediciad Implementation
The process of educating and facilitating this roll out is going to require the help of many people. We need to reach rural Missourians and help them see how they fit into this new opportunity to improve their heath.
What can we do the support this issue?
- hold meetings with local communities to gather support and educate.
- Phone bank
- Supporting local candidates
Currently we are looking for volunteers and support. If you are interested in helping out get involved with us.
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