Committee Looks at Why Missouri Children Lost Medicaid Coverage


This week, the House Subcommittee on Appropriations - Health, Mental Health and Social Services examined why over 43,000 children lost Medicaid coverage between January 2018 to December 2019. Chair of the committee Rep. David Wood (R-Versailles), said that there have been renewed efforts to check eligibility of people in the program. That resulted in many parents no longer being eligible, and subsequently, their children being kicked off the program. The improving economy also played a role in parents being disqualified. He said the number of children now on Medicaid is closer to what the numbers were in 2013.

Parents who were no longer eligible could still enroll their children, but the onus was on them to apply. Social Services representatives said because of the transient nature of the low-income population, it was difficult to contact them about the change in coverage. Rep. Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood) maintained that the department also has some responsibility, stating that the state blames the parents when the state itself has defaulted to kicking children off of Medicaid. 

The MO HealthNet department also informed the committee about how it handles applications and annual recertification requests. Director Todd Richardson noted that a third-party vendor has done a top-down analysis of the state's Medicaid system and should be releasing its report with recommendations shortly.

January 31, 2020 - 3:42pm

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