Medicaid Expansion

Helping to fill the coverage gap.

Ensuring more are insured

Medicaid is a key piece of the safety net in Missouri. The program, known in the state as MO HealthNet, currently provides health insurance for low-income children and parents, seniors, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. It allows Missourians to see a doctor when they are sick, get check-ups, buy medications, and go to the hospital. Having health insurance helps people maintain their health, go to work, and take care of their families.

Our goal is to reduce the number of uninsured Missourians to fewer than 300,000 and ensure adequate access to quality health services for newly enrolled Medicaid recipients.

Why it matters:

Until expansion is implemented in Missouri, parents in a family of four must earn $5,550 or less per year to qualify for health insurance through Medicaid. A single adult does not qualify under any circumstances. An estimated 270,000 Missourians make too much to qualify for Medicaid – but not enough to afford health coverage on their own.

How we’re changing things:

Early in 2020, after years of studying the impacts of expansion, we made our stance official. Given the weight of evidence from other states, as well as Missouri-specific research we commissioned in 2019, we could say confidently that expanding Medicaid in Missouri just made sense. This pro-expansion position was further bolstered in 2020 by our release of the Regional Economic Models, Inc. report, which detailed numerous economic advantages to expansion. In the spring of 2020, we launched the communications campaign Makes Sense Missouri to spread the word about the many benefits of expansion. On August 4 of that year, voters from across the state made it loud and clear that they too support Medicaid expansion.

Now that expansion has been approved by the voters, we are working with a wide range of partners and the state to ensure a smooth implementation (officially scheduled to begin on July 1, 2021).

In the second phase of this work, we will be promoting and supporting the newly eligible to both enroll in Medicaid as well as to improve access to quality health services for the expansion population. This effort will include a targeted awareness campaign, enrollment assistance for newly eligible Missourians who are not currently connected to a primary care home, and a systems-level project to increase the availability of care for select populations. It is a priority that through this work we seek to eliminate health inequities by race/ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender identity, immigration/refugee status, and geography.