A quarterly report, issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), shows that Missouri ranks at or near the bottom nationally in processing Medicaid applications in the federally-permitted time of 45 days. Roughly four in every five Medicaid applications in Missouri took longer than 45 days to process, eight times the national average. Wait times for Medicaid applicants in Missouri and Arkansas far outpaced every other state in the report. The average wait time peaked in Missouri at 115 days in June.
CMS became concerned over the wait times and has been working with the state to reduce the delay. CMS formally requested the state to produce a mitigation plan in May. The state has until September 30 to bring its average wait time within the guidelines. If it falls short of the plan laid out by CMS, the federal government could implement even more stringent compliance measures. Eventually, Missouri could face financial sanctions.