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Medicaid Expanded in Missouri: Apply Now!

Earlier this week, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem ruled the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) cannot deny enrollment into Medicaid for Missourians who qualify under expansion. Although Missourians voted to expand Medicaid in August 2020, the state legislature refused to fund it, which led to a court case to resolve the issue. The latest and final court ruling from Judge Beetem means that right now all who are eligible under the qualifications for the expanded Medicaid population can apply. Accessing life-saving care provided by Medicaid promotes public health, safety, and wellbeing. MCADSV looks forward to the positive impact this will have for survivors of violence and their families.

What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is low-cost or free health insurance for low-income people and their families. Low-income people seeking Medicaid must go through their state’s program. Missouri’s Medicaid program is called MO HealthNet, and with the change in rules, more people are able to enroll in the program.

Who is eligible?
Under the new rules, a single adult making up to $17,774 a year or a family of four making up to $36,750 a year qualify for Medicaid through MO HealthNet. For the first time, more adults qualify for low-cost or free health insurance through MO HealthNet. This includes parents who have not qualified before, as well as childless adults.

Why apply?
For many families healthcare costs can be a significant burden. Without healthcare insurance, people are forced to choose between their health and caring for their family’s needs. With Medicaid, you can get the care you need without going bankrupt from medical bills.

If you receive health insurance through MO HealthNet, you can get the care you need when you need it. MO HealthNet covers doctor visits, yearly checkups, prescription medicines, and more. Additionally, you can get mental health services, dental care, and many preventive care services including cancer screenings, medical exams, and routine shots – at no cost to you. 

How to apply:
Apply for Medicaid through MO HealthNet on the Missouri DSS website. Even if you have previously applied for Medicaid and did not qualify, check again. The rules have changed and Medicaid may be an option for you. If you received medical services on or after July 1, 2021, Medicaid may cover those costs. You must include this information in your application and submit (or postmark) by October 31, 2021. 

Right now, if a newly eligible person applies online, they will likely receive a message from the pre-screening tool that they are not eligible. That is because the tool is referring to old eligibility thresholds. You can hit “next” to continue with the application. It is expected that this glitch will be addressed soon. DSS will begin making eligibility determinations once MO HealthNet's software is updated. DSS will be reassigning existing employees from their current assignments and responsibilities in order to receive and evaluate MO HealthNet applications. However, due to current staffing capacity and funding restraints, the required system update is anticipated to take up to 60 days.

You can get free help to understand your health insurance options, including Medicaid through MO HealthNet. Call 1-800-466-3213 or visit CoverMissouri.org/help to find a trained expert near you.

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