medicaid

Images of Money via Flickr

Missourians trying to use a call center to sign up for the state's Medicaid program are running into long delays, prompting nearly half of them to hang up before they get help.

Images of Money via Flickr

Missouri's Medicaid program is leading the nation in the number of people dropped from its rolls.

New figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that Missouri's Medicaid enrollment dropped by 37,260 people in June, compared with its average enrollment from July through September of last year.

That was the largest numerical decrease of any state, though it ranked second behind Nebraska in terms of the percentage decline.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's budget concerns are continuing to mount.

Attorney General Chris Koster's office says the state cannot count on receiving $50 million of tobacco settlement proceeds in time to be used during the 2015 budget year that starts July 1.

How divisive was the debate over Medicaid expansion in Missouri this year?

Just ask Debbie Cole, a 51-year-old mother of four who lives in Butler, Mo., and signed a petition asking state legislators to extend Medicaid to cover more low-income residents.

“We all live different lives, and some people out there may be working two or three jobs and have no insurance, and they need it to survive,” she says.

David Sachs / SEIU

  

  By now Missourians are familiar with the debate over expanding Medicaid in the state.

The Affordable Care Act gives most people the opportunity to purchase health insurance with help from federal tax credits. But individuals earning too little to qualify for these tax credits but too much to be covered under for Missouri Medicaid are stuck in what is called “The Gap.”

Maureen Lewis-Stump

Medicaid expansion has been a widely talked about subject throughout the state of Missouri. Medicaid is federally funded state healthcare program for those that do not make enough money to be their own healthcare, or their employer does not provide it for them.

The Medicaid policy in place now only covers those who make less than $4,500 a year total for a family of four. It also allows subsidies paid to those who make more than $89,000 a year. Those in between this gap are left without health insurance.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

  Note: A portion of this story was aired as part of the Health & Wealth Update for 5/14/2014

When I think about adult dental care in Missouri, I think of Ben Affleck. In the movie Argo, CIA agent Tony Mendez, played by Affleck, pitches his plan to extract six American hostages from Iran by pretending to be on a Hollywood scouting trip. The CIA director doesn’t think it’ll work and wants to look for a better option. That’s when Mendez says:

“There are only bad options. It’s about finding the best one.”

That’s what it’s like for Missourians who can’t afford private dental insurance. Back in 2005 Missouri de-funded dental care for all Medicaid recipients except, children, pregnant women and the disabled. And it’s left a lot of people with only bad options.

Katie Hiler / KBIA

Back in 2005, Missouri de-funded dental care for all Medicaid recipients except, children, pregnant women and the disabled. And it’s left a lot of people with only bad options.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have passed a budget that would restore Medicaid benefits cut a decade ago and boost spending on public education.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are poised to give final approval to a state budget that could restore Medicaid benefits that were cut a decade ago.

pills
images_of_money / flickr

A renegade Republican has teamed up with minority party Democrats to deliver the first affirmative vote of the year for a plan to expand Medicaid eligibility.

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

Conor Lawless / Flickr

The Missouri House of Representatives has proposed adding $48 million in federal and state funds to next year’s Medicaid budget to cover adult dental care. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to the additional $48 million, but with some caveats. The money would only be used to pay for preventative dental care, like maintenance and extraction procedures. Part of the $48 million would also go towards paying dentists more for these procedures. Currently, the state only reimburses dentists up to 35 percent of usual and customary costs.

dentist
Herry Lawford / flickr

Missouri lawmakers appear likely to restore dental coverage for hundreds of thousands of adult Medicaid recipients, nearly a decade after it was eliminated.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Some Missouri Republicans have adamantly opposed expanding Medicaid to low-income adults by tapping into billions of federal dollars under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A bill revamping the management of Missouri's Medicaid program has been set aside after debate turned tense between two Republican senators.

Senators Ryan Silvey and John Lamping engaged in a sometimes pointed discussion Wednesday during which they questioned each other's conservative ideology and rhetoric.

Silvey wants to expand health care coverage to thousands of low-income adults by tapping into an influx of federal Medicaid dollars available under President Barack Obama's health care law. The Republican from Kansas City says it can be done without busting the budget.

audience members at a call to dignity
Heather Adams / KBIA

Debbie Jenkins has been a health care worker for 38 years, but last year she lost her job. Now she lives on $875 a month, which she is told is too much to qualify for Medicaid.

(Updated 4:30 p.m. Wed., March 26)

In the last six months alone, Missouri hospitals have eliminated nearly 1,000 jobs, imposed hiring freezes affecting another 2,145 positions and cut or delayed at least $50 million in building projects.

The blame is due, in part, to the General Assembly’s refusal to expand Medicaid.

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid.  Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.

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images_of_money / flickr

Legal experts are raising concerns about a Missouri proposal to require adult Medicaid recipients to work.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Republican plan to revamp and expand Missouri's Medicaid program is getting its first hearing in the state House.

pills
images_of_money / flickr

Missouri has a backlog of about 22,000 parents and children waiting to learn whether they will be covered by Medicaid.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have given initial approval to a mid-year budget plan that addresses funding shortfalls for schools and social services.

Gov. Nixon's call to expand Medicaid rejected

Feb 24, 2014
Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Missouri House panel has once again rejected Gov. Jay Nixon's call to expand Medicaid for about 300,000 people.

Hundreds of people who have developmental disabilities could begin receiving publicly funded services as Missouri officials tackle a waiting list for in-home services that now stands at almost 1,400 people.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is reiterating his push for Medicaid reform, saying expanding the program would cover the 50,000 currently uninsured Missourians who need mental health services.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has defeated an attempt to expand Medicaid eligibility to several hundred thousand lower-income adults.

Tax Credits / Flickr

Missouri has received the names of more than 25,000 people determined to be potentially eligible for Medicaid through the federal government's online insurance marketplace.

But none of those people have been added to Missouri's Medicaid program yet.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the data from the federal government is not in a format that can easily be used by Missouri's Medicaid officials.

stethoscope
vitualis / Flickr

Retired U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., is jumping into the Jefferson City debate over Medicaid expansion – and he’s on the side of  Gov. Jay Nixon and other expansion supporters.

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