Starting Oct. 1, the state of Missouri expands Medicaid coverage to an estimated 275,000 individuals, following Missouri voters’ approval of the expanded program and a court ruling upholding it.
Under the expanded program, an individual making $18,000 a year or less will receive healthcare coverage. A family of four is eligible if income is $36,000 a year or less.
Under the old program, the state limited access to Medicaid to people with disabilities with children and poor families. For example, a family of four could not earn above $5,550 a year, and adults who are not parents were not eligible at all.
The new benefits will be provided via MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid insurance program. The Missouri Department of Social Services begins evaluating the applications on Oct. 1.
Swope Health is ready to provide free assistance to anyone who is interested in applying for benefits. We’re ready to help – call us at 816-599-5653 or 816-599-5654. Swope Health has a team of “navigators” ready to assist with the sign-up processes.
For individuals whose income exceeds the Medicaid guidelines, the Swope Health navigators can also assist with enrollment for health coverage in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace and the Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of Missouri. The annual enrollment period for the Marketplace opens in November 2021.
“At Swope Health, we want to encourage as many people to enroll as possible,” said Arsenial Runion, Director of Patient Experience. “We believe healthcare is a right, and this program should help more people receive needed care.” Swope Health estimates that nearly 10,000 current patients may be eligible for MO Healthnet expanded coverage.
With expanded coverage, more people will have access to health care earlier. The MO Healthnet program should also make it easier for patients to get access to medications they need – whether it’s asthma inhalers or insulin or other prescriptions – as well as laboratory work and other tests for preventive care. The program should help patients avoid going to the emergency room by providing access to regular care.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays 90 percent of the cost of the expansion, leaving the state to cover 10 percent.