MM Curator summary
[MM Curator Summary]: After being forced to change the eligibility requirements to expand Medicaid, the state legislature has not reached agreement on actually funding the expansion program.
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Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, is seen in a file photo. Hegeman said Medicaid will be funded for this year, but there are some concerns about the continued impact of funding the expanded coverage.
2022 funding for Medicaid expansion still needs to be finalized in the state of Missouri.
State Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, who serves as the Senate’s budget chairman, said Gov. Mike Parson came up with a supplemental budget that needs to be finalized before March which includes federal dollars for education, expansion of Medicaid and state employee pay raises.
Hegeman said money in the budget is there to fund Medicaid, but there are concerns regarding funding the expanded coverage in years to come.
“Right now we have the money to be able to do the expansion, it’s the long term that people are concerned whether we will continue to have the money to do that, especially if the federal government ever changes the Medicaid program where we have to come up with a larger portion for the state of Missouri,” Hegeman said.
Medicaid expansion was approved by the citizens of Missouri in the November 2020 election. Since then, legislators have been engaged in a lengthy battle in regards to funding.
Hegeman said the general revenue budget is strong and that is why the state is looking at the employee pay raise to establish a base salary of $15 an hour and have a 5.5% increase in pay.
Another bill in circulation is House Joint Resolution 117 sponsored by State Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage. The bill, which had a hearing on Jan. 19, would require individuals below 138% of the poverty line to be referred to as the “Medicaid expansion population” by appropriation. If an appropriation specifically naming this population is not made for the fiscal year, the population would not be eligible for HealthNet services for that fiscal year. The bill currently is not on the House’s calendar.
The bill also would compel this population to comply with work and community engagement requirements where they would have to work or be involved in community engagement for 80 hours a week.